tv C-SPAN Weekend CSPAN June 6, 2010 2:00am-6:00am EDT
they call that contagion. a crisis that spreads to one place and then to another. so far, the financial crisis has been contained here. but no one should sleep soundly. the notion of, it cannot happen here, was polarized by events in october, 2008. furthermore, the mushrooming of debt left in the wake of the crisis is becoming a new instrument to bludgeon working people in the name of fiscal responsibility. .
i can't tell you the number of times people felt remarkable by comfortable about saying things about black people to me. similarly, black people feel comfortable with me as well. i have had had unusual front seat working as a journalist in new york, los angeles, chicago and washington. four cities with difficult race relations unable to express
from all across eastern europe today scan in our culture as white even though at the time of their arrival, many did not. many were legally defined as other than white because we have a system where new practice sort of accumulate as a mountain or a birm. we actually have a mountain of court cases that adjudicated whether people from saudi arabia one of these chaleppings
what is immigration for? do we do it because we are nice? we wouldn't make it so hard to be here in the first place. we are boarding up many in detention camps. is it because we need workers. the numbers go up when we need them. they don't go down to zero when we don't need them. apart from sent iment, we don't have a good rig rouse debate about why more people should come under what circumstances and whether as a country we can ever say no.
this puts our close neighbors, the mexicans in a peculiar position. one day, you'll turn on the television. you find out when mexicans come here, they take away our jobs. another context, you'll type that mexicans down in mexico are busily taking away our jobs. it's really tough. i'm not mexican myself. i feel. when they come here, they take when they stay home, they take our jobs. apart from floating suspended over the rio grand, it's hard to know what they should do. that trend really created the modern united states even after implementing the law that was
blown keep an ear open depending on which coast you are the crowded streets of baltimore and cleveland. the news stands are bursting another one for socialist and union members the grandchildren of the children who run those streets are some of the same people worrying openly from all the data, my best advice is, don't worry what do you hear?
since the late years finally of the workers. the only way they could get a raise was to give themselves one by working more hours at roughly the same level of pay, which leaves these families in 2010 particularly pressed. too buss putting the fire out that threatens to destroy everything they've worked for thus far to think about 2012, 2016 and 2020. a family friend came this country from peru and met her husband in washington. they struggled to save money to get legal, to start a family. at the pique of the housing boom in the d.c. area, they bought a house instead
squeezing through the front door of this house each is working fewer hours today than they were a year ago. so far, they just manage to hold on. as much as they worry are frightened and under pressure. there's a part of the story that leaves her sounding more bewildered than anything else. she has done what the voices large and small have been saying to do since she came to work hard, get legal, keep your
nose clean, invest in your kids, save, get a house and now the whole house of cards looks like it is about to come down. macroeconomists use models of big shifts inside whole population and regions to understand what's going on. to buy in with less. the foreclosed family will rebuild. my friend will not be able to support her teenaged son's wish to go to college.
. less of the gap between black and white workers disappears. a smaller subset go to college. than a smaller fraction still manages to graduate with a two-year or four-year credential. for thousands, it's the worst of bonal worlds. they spend the money, derively or none of the benefits of those years of education and still have to pay for it over time. to me, there's nothing more tragic than talking to a low
wage worker who is paying off a higher education loan without a credential. that is just terrible. it's hard to think of a worst outcome. in school systems that have to come up with approaches to their new families to get them involved in their children's education. because these adults work more hours per week, coming up with the response has been challenging and in many case $impossible. >> in some place $, it's taken the force of coed indication starting in the lowest deprade and teaching them to read an write english right along with their children. it takes a fear so many output pf effort and resources. the bay back is the parent who is able to help their own children in school and becomes more attached and is more
employable. social security system has to dial back benefits about the same year the united states becomes a majority, minority country. early 20 40's, i hope we are around. it's unlikely everybody in the room will be around. 2041 is when the social security agency is saying they are going to have to cut back on benefits. 2042 is when the bureau of census says we pass that national threshold to welcome to the majority minority country. their ability and the ability
of brothers and sisters still to come will tell the tale of how that growth and how millions of americans rely on their life is able to meet the challenge of the demo graphic tidal wave about to break over america's head. they are going to be a lot of old white people and a tremendous number of young black, asian and latino workers. one of the highest sets has to do with the last gradeeof school completed. finish college and your children are more than likely to finish college. no big surprise there. as all you amateur cultural
scientists know that's not reason for causation. how do you break that correlation? how do you create an environment away from the home that support $and reinforces what comes from the home that's of value and worth retaining and break the cycle of school under achievement and too early did he par tur from school. anyone trying to sit down and answer that question with a system built from scratch would never come up with what we have today. a system heavily based on educational funding from real estate taxes so that the kids wise enough to be born to parents this live in high-value
housing could count on more secure school funding that those who come from larger school funding. >> chicago, new york, boston where my kids go to school in washington, d.c. we worship at the alter of the alter of equity and fairness deep deen down, we know a classroom of 25 kids in a high poverty neighborhood has different needs from a classroom of 25 kids who have two college educated parents, their own internet and a house hold of books. except for special needs children, you could argueablely give that higher economically
level classroom even fewer resources and the standardized test scores won't change much at all. by third grade, better off kids are three years ahead of minority kids. i can't tell you the number of education conferences i've been to where this data is reported instead of everybody saying, stop for a second. third grade, how are they three years ahead? instead of that being sort of a stop the music moment -- well, i won't call it what i it's a stunning moment. instead, it's reported as another data set and we move on. the more household ib come, the
homework, and they get read to and encouraged to read. the higher an income, the more children are spoken to, encouragement using command, scolding and disciplined. a permanently stuffed working class. some kids learn chemistry in labs where you can split the at tom and some lacking equipment, that's a recipe for seriously big problems down the road. one of the sources of oxygen for these hard working people.
you. now i can see you again. thank you. [applause] i'm told there's a little while for q and a. i've said it all. no questions? >> a law recently passed saying illegal immigrants couldn't be admitted into community colleges. could you speak on different states' moves to stratfy acknowledgeable they both
play out is what people who aren't even born yet end up thinking they are. also, we don't yet know the full affects of the pattern of immigration that is different than ever other pattern in history. i had the ah-ha moment in ellis island. it had this set of color coded lines where there's a run up, to zero for all the major group that's came through new york from 1870 to 1925. this pattern is different from those of italians, germans, irish, you name it.
businesses. the house is live on c-span. next on "america and the cots," former attorney general john ashcroft on the legal history surrounding the rights of terror suspects. a federal appeals c ruled last month that detainees held at bagram air base in afghanistan do not have the right to appear in federal court, setting up a possie challenge to a 2008 supreme court ruling that did extend the right of habeas corpus to guantanamo detainees. from the heritage foundation,
this is an hour. it's a great honor to welcome all of you as we continue to reck are nice the second annual protect america moh with our conuding lecture today. our live webcast is getting under way at this time. i extend a special word of greeting to all of those who are joining us on my her -- on myheritage.org to watch this event. if you have if off question for our speaker, send it to heritage.org and it will be fed into the system here. those of you here in the audience will have the ability to participate as well. we have distributed question cards and they will be collected during the course and immediately after general
ashcroft's lecture. a staff member will bring them up and we'll go through them and cover as many as we can in the question and answer session. with those preliminary announcements and the caveat that my colleague has probably already given to turn off all things electronic and mechanical that might buzz or otherwise interrupt the proceedings today, it's my very great pleasure at this time to introduce our colleague and our good friend, former senator jim talent to introduce today's special guest. senator talent joined us after serving on the senate armed services committee. before that he represented missouri's second district in the house of representatives for eight years. prior to that, he was in the state house in jefferson city. as a member of the house and senate armed services committees, senator lent was directly involved in some of
the most ctical debates and decisions regarding national security policy, both prior to and immediately after the 9/11 world that we live in toda here at heritage, jim talent specializes in issues involving foreign poly, military readiness, and his old favorite on the domestic front, welfare reeorm. he's one of the most astute commentators in the conservative realm of ideas, we're privilege to have had him with us as our colleague, jim will you please come up and introduce our distinguished speaker? [applause] >> my thanks to dr. fulmer for giving me the privilege of introducing our honored guest who is a fellow missourian, which is the reason i have the privilege of doing this, and a man who has accomplished so much across such a wide range of responsibilities and offices over the years that it would
embarrass him for me to try to list them all, and intrude in his speaking time. but i want to touch on the highlights. john ashcroft entered office for the first time in 1973 when he became missouri state auditor. he followed that with two terms as missoi's attorney general, unaware of what that was preparing him for in the future he followed that with two terms as governor, i'll summarize those years in missouri by saying we we in the state of missouri created 330,000 new jobs in those eight years, balanced the budget eight years in a row. he left office with a surplus. and we had the 49th lowest tax burden per capita in the wle country. or as we like to say at the time we had the second best tax policy in missouri at the time. after th, he went to the u.s.
senate in the turbulent and exciti years of the 1990's when w balanced the budget, produced surplus, did do welfare reform, criminal justice reform, regulatory reform in a broad range of areas, as well as cutting taxes a number of times. mr. ashcroft was at the cent over much after thoove activetism he became attorney general of -- in 2001, i believe in february of 2001. those of us who knew him realized that at the time he was enjoying that office immensely for seven months. and then the united states was attacked in september of 2001. he's going to address, i'm sure, many of the issues he had to deal with in those days in the context of looking at the development of those issues constitutionally but i'll say, when'm asked today, and i do get asked this a lot because i do a lot in the areaf anti-terror, when i asked why
the unitedtates has noteen successfully attacked again nce september of 2001, i usually offer as the two top are reasons, the vigorous activity of our armed forces and intligence services in taking the battle to them, and attacking them in their safe havensand then the second reason, the vigorous, decisive, and wise leadership of jn ashcroft in quickly adapting the department of justice to the needs of the war against terror. it remains only for me to say i had the opportunity to work personally with mr. ashcroft in a number of instances, the first was when i was a young leader of the republican party in the missouri legislature in his second term as governor, and as all those who know him will attest, he is in his perge life a model of integrity, humility and humanity. ladies and gentlemen, it's a great pllasure on behalf of the heritage foundation to introduce to you the former
attorney general of the united states, john ashcroft. [applause] >> thank you, ed fulmer and jim talent. it is a pleasure to be with you. i like the way they sort of scoot across the top of history and to the avoid the valleys and hittle on th peaks. he didn't mention i've lost more elections in three of the last four decades, i lost elections, i happened to be the only person ever to have lost his senate seat to a deceased opponent. so your willingness to sort of cast me in the role of a winner is something for which i am + grateful. i have a lot to say and that may mean i just make a lot of mistakes. i understand that i'm not as immune as i might have been when i was member of the senate from attack for what i would say, but i'm grateful for this opportunity.
i believe the defense of america is tantamount to the defense of freedom and freedom is worth defending. freedom is what the alchemists were looking for in the middle ages. when in those days, it was thought that if you could just touch ordinary metal with some magic substance, you could change it into pure gold. sort of the pixieust that would make us all what we hoped we could bfment there isn't any such thing in the area of physics or in the natural world, we know that. in the fifth grade or seventh grade, wherever it was we memorized the periodic table and understood that elements have their own character and are not susceptible to transition. but there is a pixie dust in human existence and it is freedom. it is what changes ordinary people into world beaters. it is what makes america
exceptional. me people like i was grew up thinking we weee maybe better than other folks around the world until it dawned on me we couldn't be better than other folks, we are other folkk. the thing that made america a special place, that madet exceptional, that made it different, that made it a priority place a city on the hill, if i can borrow the phraseology of one of america's greatest presidents, was that freedom was respected here. it wasn't the nature of the people, it was the nature of this special alchemy which changes base metal into gold whh changeshe also-rans the wretched refuse of the teeming shores into world beaters. freedom is a value which is simply without parallel. as attorney general, people came to me on an insistent basis and said, you've got to learn to balance freedom and security.
obviously, wall have a sense of the necessity for securit but i always wanted to reject the idea that freedom had any peer in terms of values. that there is no such thing as the need to balance freedom. there is the need to enhance freedom. there is the need to support freedom. there is the need to safeguard freedom. and when you think about security, i think we should say there is the need to secure freedom. security isn't a counterweight to freedom. s the way for us to make sure that freedom stays intact. and has its positive catalytic value on the charact of humanity. so security is not a competitor to freedom. it's an enabler of it. whe speak of security, we should specify the object. you secure your home you secure your car, we should seek to
secure freedom. that's what the security of america is about. fro providing security for this environment of freedom which reinforces and establishes and honors human dignity in ways that have never been reinforced, established, or honored in human existence in any other setting. when the declaration of independence recites that we hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal, endowed by their creator with inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, we know that's related to freedom. we have long known that the pursuit of happiness defines freedom. the ability of individuals to pursue the things to which they aspire. that's really what freedom is about. we are fast learning on the other hand, however, that the provision of happiness by government defines and delivers
debt, ratr than freedom. and what it does, it impairs freedom. the pursuit of happiness is the definition of freedom, the provision of those things that people say might make them happy, very frequently has a high cost. one of the reasons that i'm delighted to be here at the heritage foundation, that it is a foundation that understands that the opportunity to seek productivity, the opportunity to create and the opportunity to advance, reinforcement of human dignity that comes from having faith in mankind, that's what this institution is all about. whenever our culture converts needs into rigs, that it's not that we pursue things that would meet our needs and expectations, but they are providedy government. we ultimately find that freedom is shrinking and the value of human dignity is undmined. when government protests or
protect mispursuit of happiness, it enhance mislty. when it seeks to provide for my needs, it frustrates my freedom. the defense of freedom, then is the single most important responsibility of a culture and i'm grateful for this institution,hich understands freedom and relentlessly seeks to protect it. this month of defense of america which is an annual event here at the heritage institute, is a wonderful, wonderful month. we find ourselves talking about the defense of freedom or protecting america. i want to equate those phrases. to me in my heart, it may not mean the same to others, that's wh's important. america, the last, best, hope of freedom. is to be protected. not just for its sentimental value because ourncestors were here but because the conditions exist here that reinforce human dignity and
reward the achievements of individuals, reward the risks taken in those achievements by individuals who are willing to exercise freedomm point on pot two, freedom is under atta. it is such an attractive and appealing value that it's hard for us to believehat freedom nday attack. freedom is under attack by those who say that they are either -- well, we watched nazi germany say the rest of the world was racially or ethnically inferior. freedohas en under attack by those who say we don't worship the right god. those who would want to impose upon us who don't believe that spirituality is something of inspiration they think it's something that -- that spirituality is something of imposition, so they want to impose on us their views of the way god ought to be respected. something that america rejects because america believes in
freedom. there are people who are attacking freedom bause they don't believe that mankind is worthy of freedom. it's subtle. they are the ones who say that, well if they all understood what we would do for them, they woulbut they c't understand, so we need to take charge and impose on people the imposstion of those things which are unwanted is the denial of freedom, regardless ofhe so-called virtue that could be associad with that which is being imposed upon us. i believe there are people who might even- well there may be a room full of people here who could make better decisions about my life than i could. but the mere ft that you might make better decisions than i could about my life doesn't mean i want you to make those decisions. there is a virtue in my being le to make my own decisions. i cling to the ability that america offers me to make my
own mistakes. and not to ha you makeither good decisions or mistakes in my behal soreedom is this important quality and i believe it must be defended aggressively and that's why, again, i express my appreciation to heritage for featuring this month-long discussion of the defense of america. but it also must be defended legally. in accordance with princles and it must be defended in a way that respects freedom itself. and the law provides an intersection at which this expectation of freedom and the protection of freedom come together. and when the principles might be in question we seek to adjudicate thooe and most frequently that's happened in a legal processalled habeas corpus. now, i'm no latin scholar, i'm
not really a lal scholar, but habeas corpus rt of stands for have the body. it means that in the court if you've challenged someone detention, the court says, let's have the body. bring the person in here. we'll find out wheth there's been an appropriate detention of this individual or not. this is a rich part of america's history. i think perhaps the most charming, least exciting because it's old, story about this comes when andrew jackson was fighting in the battle of new orleans. you may remember johnny horton's folk song about that, you know in 1814, took a a little trip, along with colonel jackson down the mississipp. fired our cannons until the barrel melted down, then we grabbed an alligator and fired another round, filled his mouth
with canon baals and powdered his behind, when we touched the powder off, the gator lost his mind. you do remember. absolutely. jackson was a pretty aggressive defender of freedom he loved it and america loved him for it. now, you know that that was not the age of the blackberry or even the cell phone or even the telephones. i don't think they had invented two tin cans and a string at that time. jackson was down fighting the british in january of 1815, not knowin, not knowing that the treaty of ghentad been signed on the 24th of december of 1814. even after he pretty much slaughtered the british, it was a brutal battle, in 1815, early in january, not too -- early to mid january. no one knew about the treaty having been sned. at least it wn't official.
but it became pretty apparent the british weren't a threat like they once were. so an edtorial appeared in the french-speaking newspaper in new orleans that said, you're a great general, counselor jackson but please give us our freedom back. you've declared martial law, and he had, and was running the+ city in accordance with his own sort of idea of what was necessary for the ultimate security of the city. and he -- the editorialist reested, now that the war is over, or there's no threat, please give us our city back. well, jackson was not what you would call a civil liberties enthusst. so he found the writer of the editorial and had him jailed. and so guess what the writer of the edtorial does? y and contest his incarceration he files a writ of habeas corpus and the judge, augustin hall,
issued the writ and says, bring this writer of the editorial before me. we'll adjudicate the appropriatenesof his detention. he ordered that the editorial writer be brought forward. jackson was not db you know jackson had his difficulties with members of the judiciary later on when it came to stories about the bank but jackson was not to be intimidated so instead of bringing in the editorial writer he incarcerated the judge and slated the judge for detention aloside theriter of the editorial, though he eventually relented on that and took the judge to the edge of the military district, at which time he gav him what i like to refer to as the right foot of fellowship and the judge out of the district. this story has always charm that ficti would have, except you wouldn't believe it, were it fiction. obviously the news of the peace
treaty comes and the civil gornment is restored in new orleans, the judge who had issued the order of habeas corpus, which had not been followed, which had been more than repudiated, had been contempts youly disobeyed he orders and finds jackson in contempt of court and fines jackson $1,000. in 1815. $1,000 in those days was roughly enough money to buy, i think, between 2 1/2 and three mid western states. that was a lot of money. jackson paid it and went on into his career as a public servant, becoming president of the united states. the post-script, the footnote which is just amazing to me son his deathbed, the congress of the united states votes to refund the $1,000 to andrew
jackson, but all of which to say ii habeas corpus has been a significant part o adjudicating the right principles, the limits, on what can be done to defend the constitution and to defend freedom in america. and the executive branch operates within limits and the legislative branch operates within limits and at times, the judicial branch has operated within limits, althoogh i think they define their own limits and given the fact that they serve the right to migrate or evolve or morph or what -- when they want to make it sound greenist, they say they have an organic constitution. so they can do it like, what do they call it when the japanese shape the trees and tie them? bonsai, they sort of bonsai the constitution so we make it provide shade and protection in onarea. never mind.
i'd like to just run through as we get toward events that are so current they are now pending, i would like to run through a series of cases just of habeas corpus thing will help you sort of put in a frame of reference what's happened in the united states over the course of the last century. we'll take a big jump from andrew jackson in 1816 to get up into the world war ii area but perhaps one of the most interesting habeas corpus cases of all times was the quirin case. it's part of history that someho escaped my junior year in high school where i thought they told me all there was to know about the second world war but either they missed this or i missed it. but there were eight individuals, saboteurs, released from submarines off the coast of long island in new york and florida, obviously, in the southeast. they came in and ultimately
were apprehended. they were released on about the 15th of june by the 15th of august, they had been -- those who had been adjudicated eligible for the death penalty and not reprieved in some way, they were -- they had been executed and the president -- and president roosevelt had convened not as a result of military commissions established prior to their appearance but military commissions created specifically to deal with their cases, president roosevelt had convened the commissions, the supreme urt ruled thathe commissions were appropriate, and they had been executed within 60 days. it's not a proud time in american history, although it' kind of interesting that the president seems so intent on
making sure that there was such a -- such alacrity and such dispatch in the way the case was processed. the truth of t matter is, some of those individuals who had come intthe country immediately went to the f.b.i. and said, we're here and we're here to destroy critical infrastructure in america. you better stop this operation. now, it's an unpud moment for the f.b.i. because the first exposure to these people with that confession resulted in, oh, you guys are kidding. and then a second approach resulted in the actual taking serious of this and i think the president, it is reported that the president was upset and obviously it is reported that j. ear hoover was significantly upset over the idea that america could be so vulnerable and susceptible to damage in this way that the president said, we better move quickly here if at all possible
resmolve this issue and signal to the world th we are not weak in this respect. if that's the case and i think it's probably so, i think the president deserves at least the credit for preserving the safety and security of american freedom as a result of moving with december patch and the principle invvedhere is one, whhther it was abused or not in that setting which ought to be understood by us, that the wa in which you deal with individuals will signal and set a standard for and provide either a disincentive to or in some cases perhaps even an invitationo individuals who might think that the way in whic things are undertaken for dealing with or otherwise processing these kinds of matter would provide an opportunity to disrupt the freedom of the united states of america. oddly enough, on the commission -- the commission was meeting
regarding the innocence or guilt of these individuals, whose basic charge was they operated without uniforms and therefore violated the laws of war, the penalty for the violation of the law of war, any law of war, has traditionally been up to and including the death penalty and they were given he death penalty for that the supreme court, which was hearing the case at the same time the commission was processing these individualso that these things were sortf on parallel tracks, this wasn't a sequential operation where you cleared it through the courts and then went to the commission. this was sort of multitracked. and there are times in government when you should be multitracking things. the verdict was rend early august. the court said that itffirmed the right of the commission to act and that the opinion would follow. it is something of an embarrassment, i believe, to
the respect we have for freedom in the uniied states that the opinion did noo follow until october, a couple of months after individuals' lives had been taken in term of retribution or punishment for the crime which had been committed and it was not a normal crime. it was something adjudicated by a litary commission, which means it was a war crime, and not a violation of -- it may also have been a violation of the statutes of the united states, but the adjudication in military commissions of criminal activity relates to the adjudication of war crimes. we don't try criminal code matters as we do in a civil matter. first case of this century that i would point out to you is the querin -- the supreme court in the querin case validated military commissions used to try individuals who had committed these kinds of crimes. second case was isentrager.
it happened to be the case of a group of germmns involved in china and at the time the war was declared over between the united states and germany, instead of ceasing to fight they wentn assisting the japanese. now, it is a war crime once your country has surrendered for you not to obey the terms of the surrender system of 27 individuals were charged, 21 were convicted. they were being nelled a prison in germany, we still have a presence in that area. they filed a habeas corpus to y get us out of prison here and theourt basically said, though that's now in dispute, it was for decades understood that the court said, we don't have jurisdiction to handle things that don't have a nexus to a u.s. district court territory in the united states and this is the territory of -- in germany.
so the court refused to grant the writ of habeas corpus there. interestingly enough, one of the things that struck me about this was that 27 out of -- of the 27 cases brought before the military commission, only 21 were convvcted. and there is a mythology about military commissions that i think needs correction in our culture. there is a suggestion that they are -- that they don't operate fairly and that they don't ovide an opportunity for innocent individuals to be adjudicated in a context which is acceptable. what i have noticed in my understanding of military commissions, in that case, about 77% conviction rate, after the second world war, generally, military commissions, about upper 80's in convictn rate. as my experience at the justice department said that the conviction rates of u.s. attorneys are usually in the mid to upper 90's and anything below that on the part of a u.s. attorney would be an
embarrassment. it's not an automatic that if you have an adjudication or due process that is undertaken by way of milary commission rather than the civil or criminal courts that generally attend our society that somehow that's unfair or unlikely to provide an outcome which is acceptable or comports with the truth. the rights of individuals are spected by our military, they are the people who give their lives in order to defend those rights. and it is less than fair to suggest that because you have a military commission, somehow you will be disreecti justice. the isentrager case pretty much said if you're outsidd the limits of the united states, you're nottgoing to be having habeas corpus. i want to leapfrog then from the second world war cases to the cases that relate to the modern circumstance of the war on terror.
and they take us to the cases that relate to detention of individuals at guantanamo and in other settings. the first of the guantanamo cases, obviously, there were two cases that came out on the same day in june of 2004, the rasul case and hamdi case. the hamdi case was an anomaly, hamdi was an american citizen. it's been settled law that american citizens always he the right to petition the court for habeas corpus. hamdiasn't an american citizen in the way youight expect him to be. he was born in the united states and at a very, very tender age, taken to the middle east and raised in the middle east and became part of those individuals in the middle east fighting against the forces of the united states. but once a citizen, always a citizen. hamdi, as soon as it was discovered that was the case, he w moved to the united states in a prison so the questions about whether
geography would control heas corp would be nonexistent. rasul was not born in the united states but he was incarcerated at guantanamo as a foreign tional and enemy combatant. in theasul case, you get the courts beginning the process of migrating the idea expressed in isentrager that if you were outside the united stes you were beyond the limits of our own courts to provide habeas corpus relief. in the rasul case you get the idea that you're asking about the nature of guantanamo, asking isn't guantannmo really part of the united states? and you get inton arena of asking aut, if we don't have ck toe sovereignty, if we do have de facto sovereignty evenf we don't have deinjure sovereignty. are we controlling a pace so
profoundly twe ought to say it's part of the united stes for habeas corpus rights. the court has come to the idea that you can have such profound control of an arena that it would be the space for having habeas corpus. let me just take a minute here to talk about the policy that that raises. the truth of the matter is, you don't want to incarcerate anybod anywhere, where you don't have pretty good corol. you don't want -- and if you have control if that means there's automatically the right of the court to go there, you have to ask yourself, by definition, does that mean any time seone is controlled outside the united states which is the definition of what you do with detainees you control them, do that invite the presence of the court? so we begin our road through this idea that we don't have
the clear bright lines of distinction that geography would provide you begin to ask questions that relate to the facts and circumstancess once you do that, you invite the court into the matrix of understanding and defining how the conflict is undertaken. moot of us have gone through the pocy discussions of why it's important to have a song the flexibility of being able make quick decisions and do things and move in the right direction to defend the united states. we've watched congress operate. i've been in the congress, jim wain the coness for a long time. we kw that the congress is a deliberative body, not an executive body. if you need a military decision you may not want to call on a body that can't decide whether to take something to the floor for six month let alone what it's going to do on the floor as a means of defending that
setting. so the court ruled in hamdi, obviously, he's an american citizen, he's going to be accorded rights and while he was an enemy combatant, and susceptible to being detained until the end of the conflict, he was still accorded the idea that he cou have certain rights to protest and to challenge the conditions of his detentn. particularly the reasons for his detention. the next case -- i realize i'm acting like a senator here, once a senator gets the for, only god can take him off the floor, isn'that what they say? with the hamdan case, he was slated far militaryommission and the supreme court of the united states indicated there was not a clear authorization for military commissions in e law for the president, at least
consistent with the way the military commission was at that time configured. the authorization to use military force, which w drafted originally passed by the congress, the resolution was general, it didn't seek to spessity everything that needed to be done. i think it was the vw of the administration that that provided the generaliz authority tt conduct a war in such a way, include degree taining d adjudicating individuals who violated the law in their attack on the united states anthe congress basically had made that kind of a generalized authorizaon. the supreme court said no, but the congress could do something that would provide a basis for the court for the adjudication of people like hamdan, who was saido be osama bin laden's driver. so the congress then acted. they created the military
commissions act which became litigated on the bumaain case. that's the next to the last case. i'm going to buzz through some of these, then we'll talk about the current case and then you can all go eat. bumadin was another military commission's case -- military commissions case and the congress enacted a special military commissions authority called the military commissions act, the effort to reg diwhat the court said wasn't done properly in hamdan and the court said, well you didn't do this well enough either. just so you're coming in and not leaving, i'm fine. the -- and what was kind of interesting in that case, there was a tremendous confusion about the matters because it s thought by the congress that they could respond to the court and satisfy the court,
though i think they originally digreed with the dort in regard to its jurisdiction, you remember the congress tried to say there will be no jurisdiction, tried to draw a bright line for yours diction no jurisdictionor habeas corpus in the district courts of the united states. the court set those things aside. it cause justice scalia to say the analysis produces a crazy result. you very seldom get that kind of language out of one judge about the opions of other judgess roberts talked, i believe, in that matter in his dissent about bait and switch justice that you offer to the congress the opportunity to lislate in an area and then as soon as they legislate in the area, you change that and get this sort of migration of the law. scalia chided his colleagues b saying that they had said if the congress just did this and then, scalia in his quotions said, just kidding.
like you can't do tt and get away wit. were just kidding about what we would let you do. scalia finished by saying how to handle enemy prisoners will alie with the branch that knows the least. this is the matter that relates to the judicial branch, really the best place to decide how to fight a war? this is the background that has us looking at a case now called maqulah versus gates. in these four cases, hadi, rasul, hamdan, and bimudin, the justice department was overruled in each case. it was overruled at the supreme court level. the 12 judges voted on these four cases, three-judge panels
in each case,1 of the 12 supported the department's position until it got to the supreme court so the appellate judges were convinced that the department had followed the law. it was not until you get to the area where the law is most easily adjusted, if you will, or where it migrates or is organic in its response tt you got to the uncertainty that surrounds the area of the tainee -- detainee processing. in t syllabus for the hamdan case, it tells you something about the fragmentation of legal opinion here. i want to read this quickly and then -- here's what the syllabus says. stevens, j. announced the opinion of the court with respects one through four,
parts six telesimbingg d three and part five in which justices suter, bryant joined and in respect to part six d 4. breyer, justice, file and opinion to concur, as to parts one and two, scalia, justice, filed a dissenting opinion in which thomas and alito joined. thomas justice filed a opinion in which others joined except for parts two, three b one. robert the chief justice took no part of the consideration or the decision of the cas i mean, that's -- i think the one thing you can be clear
about in the setting like that is roberts took no part in e decision of the case. and if ware trying to say that the law, that the rule of law, provides a set of boundaries in which people can make decisions with confidence, and in the defense of the united states of america, we need for the executive branch to have a set of rules that they can -- in which they can operate confidently. if we can't operate confidently, what does it give to o enemy? it says to the enemy, it suggests to them we are morally ambiguous, it says to them we don't know how we're operating anddwhat we can do. it impairs our ability to defend freedom. the defense of freedom requires the rule of law. and the rule of laws one of the greatest supporters of freedom because it helps people know what they are free do to the co-and what they are not free to do. we move to the case now before the court and the court of
peals has again, as it had in the four previous cases, sustained the position of the dertment of justice. and so the question in this case is whether individuals 3 in bagram as unlawful enemy coatants are eligible for habeas corpus treatment and the court at the district court level ruled they were, based on the bumadin case said virtually anyone, anywhere would be subject to the court's juferre diction and the district court of appeals has reversed that judgment. the interting -- the interesting part of this is that with the solicitor general of the united states being nominated for membership in the court, it's unlikely that she would be able to sit on this case.
further, given the fact that she argued a very strong position in support of the military's capacity to maintain this detention cent for the bagram, absent interference by the court as a result of granting of habeas corpus there, it might even be better if she were sitting on the court when such a decision made. regardless, given the fact that the court of appeals has ruled 4-4 -- pardon me, has ruled in favor of the position of the department of justice and u.s. military for detenon if there is a 4-4 split on the court, which appears to be the worst at's likely a 4-4 split would not overturn the decision of e district court and for the first time in a series of the cases we would have the nofingse united states military in detaining individuals unter-feared with by the courts.
that to me is kind of an teresting anomaly in the way in which this matter is unfolding. it is entirely possible as well that as a result of the opinion in the maqaleh versus gates, decision at the court of appeals vel whic seeks to employ a three-prong tes from the bumadi; n case in which kennedy expressed himself rather assertively regarding these elements, there could be even a majority decision. the best i believe we can hope for in the defense of freedom is to have a majority decision that clarifies and brings certainty to the arena so when the military of the united states encounters and seeks to detain individuals, last matrix in which decision making can be made with confidence and which does not in some way undermine
either the moral high ground the united states deserves or the decision making capacity that the united states must have in order to defend itself. as i indicated earlier, freedom is the value worth defending. it deserves an aggressive defense. its defense must be undertaken not only aggressively but in accordance with the law and inciples. i believe there's an opportunity in the case which will now appear before the united states supreme court which was only announced bthe court of appeals on may 21 of this last couple of weeks there will be an opportunity for clarification of the approprie conduct of the part of the executive branch running the military in the united states of america which could strengthen america. strengthening america is what we are all about. it is the stuff of which freedom is made and i thank you for giving me this opportunity to discuss these matters. [applause]
>> thank you, general ashcroft. we had, by the way, more than 500 people watching on our webcast, we again encrage you toend usuestions if you have any. thank you for speaking in protect america month. many americans have shown a renewed interest in the constitution and other founding documents, why is this a good thing? >> well, maybe i should just take off on this to make another little quick speech. it's a good thing when americans care about the constitution. because ultimately, the oversight ofmerican government is found in the american people. i think our courts have forgotten that. when our courts have expressed distst, particularly in the arena of the detention, they've taed about, well the cgress
gets elected, there are lots of them and the courts are independent and there are a few of us, but we are indepnt and somebody has to be a check on the executive branch, well the american people are a big check on the executive branch. the executive branch is the only branch of government that the entire american population votes on. the congress of the united states is elected more frequently but it is so gerrymandered you have to wonder if it can be as responsi as it ought to be though this year, gerrymandering could be irrelevant given the anger of the american people. and the senate only comes up every six years instead of every four years and so you have to -- i think we need to understand how important it is for the american people to be attuned to these things. they are the primary oversight and i don't think they get the crit for being the oversight they deserve. obviously, that is more available now than ever before.
so many things in government used to be hidden. even in my lifetime. they just weren't known. better not try and hide very much now. there's too much money to be made by the news industry in being e ones that scoop it and provide the most about it and the opportunity for you to comment on it. how is that for grabbing a wrong goal? [laughter] >> project yourself ahead, what would you have done if y were told to close gitmo? >> well, first of all, i'm not going to answer that kind of hypothetical. i would have argued against closing gitmo. i think gitmo is a very, very good place to detain people. people are safe there. people are treated humanely
there. the idea of detainingple who fight against you i an act of mercy. consider the alternatives. take no prisoners was a barbaric way of doing business. it was to slaughter your enemy onhe battlefield. ner in history has there bee a challenge to the ideahat the merciful act of removing a person from the course of the battle and maintaining the removal until the end of the combat was anything less than an act of mercy. and so i think it is right to ke people out of the battle. it is right to dislocate them and not -- the alternatives are either to kill them on the field or rearm them and send them bk out to take another shot or to detain them. i think detention is the only acceptable thing. and the courts have been pretty clear about this. the problem exists wh people confuse detention for purposes
of removing people from the stream of the bat. they confuse thht with punishment, which is also incarceration. and we've gone through a lot of discussions about this and i would belittle none of them. in the sond world war, some individuals were detained or asked to move away from the coast, japanese were, to camps in wyoming. i think there's a lot of understanding now, that probably -- may not have been the right thing to do, though it's too easy to judge in retrospect in history. other individuals were asked to go and walk into the fire of the enemy because they were drafted. i'm not sure whether i would have gone to a camp in wyoming or died in france. either one of those -- the defense of liberty is not free, it's not cheap. but the idea that somehow there's something evil about guantanamo i think is a bankrupt idea and it only succeeds in the arena of
slander. for instance this most recent case, and the court seems to be focused on the idea that bagram is a theater of war therefore we won't interfere with it and the idea that somehow you should keep the prisoners in the theater of war. first of all, the prisoner is at much eater risk there. it put ours people at greater risk because people will come and try and liberate them and in the civil war, there were attempts made in the united states to go liberate people from t prison camps and rearm them and have them fight from the back side from the other side of the line. so the dislocation of people from the battle arena is a reasonable and rational thing to do, an the idea that the court says, if you control the area too much, we have to get involve. we honor your right to do things in the battle zone. it's an idea that has another side to it, that i think is an
importt side that ought to be considered. these are difficult questions. part of the thing, though, is we need resolution of these and the amendment of the idea of what we can do with each case that comes along leaves no one with an appropriate basis for the kind of executive decision making that conflict demands. >> here's one along the line of your last response. >> a question i'm going to respond to. >> no, no. followup, if you will. should enemy combatants be read miranda rights? >> you know, if they're going to be tried in criminal courts, they should be. if they're going to be tried as war criminals, there are a different set of protocols. and the idea -- we have a mistaken idea that you're either a war criminal r you're a criminal that violates the
criminal code of the united states. many acts will violate both. and the decisio about how you move forward in a case relates to what are your objectives. i think you should think about a couple of things in making the decision and it'll be a decision which has to be tailored to the needs of the circumstances and the -- and what your objectives are. one of the things we nee to understand is that in everything we do, we teach. so the enemy will learn something with whatever we do. certain kinds of exposures of certain kinds of information will teach the enemy very valuable things that would be improper for us to teach them. so i think we ought to be very careful about taking those kinds circumstances and having the kind of expure that regular trials would offer if it's possible for us to adjudicate the individual in
compromise of information. complex questions that are based on -- will be based on individual facts in various settings. i think that is more than enough. >> here is another one that brings up a different set of facts and circumstances. you deal with one of these things >> give the man a glass of water. he is about to endorse lawyers. >> question. the obama administration authorized the targeted killing of- does the fact that this man remains at large present new legal challenges not considered in other recent cases?
>> well i don't think there is any -- i haven't known of a recent case. we will go back to the case. you may remember it because of the sabber tos. couple of those people were american citizens. now, when we are fighting for the defensive freedom, and we encounter an american citizen on the other side. i think that there is a generally accepted idea we can treat them like an enemy because they are fighting for the other side. one of the other cases ssid that in detention an individual as the right t have a proceeding about his -- it does not have to be a full-court proceeding, which is part of the problem because it is as if justice o'conner was suggesting that there was something between judicial due proce on
the judicial side and some type of executive due process. i lieve that there is. i don't believe all due process has to be judicial. i wod suspect that in a decision made in any administration to pursue someone as an enemy in circumstances like this means that there would be a potential finding somewhere to support that which was ordered and that those findings in my judgment and the judgment of individua wh would come to review such a circumstance would probably be more than sufficient tsupport the requirement that an appropriate process, an adequate process, the most recent case the court of appeals talked about an request process. almost as if they do not want yone to have the word due process. it is constitutional. but it would be an adequate
process. i continuing is possible to fight enemies as enemies and ignore the fact of whether or not they are an american citize >> big component of national security is economic stability and growth. do you see any hopeful signs at we can assure request funding of defense priorities? >> well the request funding o defense priorities is a matter of will and priority, know. i am worried about the financial condition of the ited states. i worried that if i were to talk about threats to the security long-term stability, liberty, interests of the united states , i would consider our wreckless financial conduct to be one of the biggest threats to our country.
maybe this is what happens when you get as old as i am and have grandchildren but when you continue to have no plan for provision of the resoues necessary for the spending, to me it is stealing from our grandchildren. i worry about the moral component of a culture which seeks to displace its own pleasure and the costs of it on to generations yet to come in such a profound way that it may endanger their ability to remain score. and in the current setting, and i am sure you had profoundly educated speakers talking about it who know far beyond me, but we weaken our ability in the world when we are debtors to the world. and when we do not have the ability to signal o self sshes in dealing with
competitors on the world scene. and i am not so concerned about the competitors of the past, although i don't think that we shoold ignore our friends in europe and the like. but i don't tnk that greece, for instance, is raising a specter of competition so much. it raises a warning flag to us. but when you think about the emerging high energy productive lture that will be challenging in terms of the ability to match their productivi like china and obviously india has great potential as well. we have to be careful that we do not find ourself so burdened with debt that we inhibit our capacity texercise the leadership that the world expects from us and that we deserve to provide for the next generation in terms of securing
freedom. so i avery concerned about our finances. i don't ink that the american people are so ignorant they don't want more government. i think they are so intelligent that they don't want to buy more government. i think they understand that being in debt impairs the ability of one to be as free as one would otherwise aspire toñss
>> good afternoon and welcome to the carnegie endowment. i'm chris bozic, part of the middle east program here at carnegie. i like to welcome everyone here today and our viewers on c-span to what i think will be a very stimulating and informative discussion about anwar al-awlaki. our media in the last several months, including beig linked were accused of being linked to the fort hood sugar last november and the christmas day attack with ties reaching back to yemen. so today we are two great spears, ris heffelfinger who is going to speak first and scott shane here chris is a consultant with the combating terrorism cter at west point as well as for the fbi and his author of the forthcoming book about radical islam in america. chris is going to speak for about 15 or 20 minute and then
scott sane will speak. scott is national security reporter for "the new york times." i'd like to ask everyoneo turn off your phones as they will interrupt and disrupt the speaker and the audio system. also, during the q&a i'd ike each of you who asked a question to please identify yourself and you phrase your question in the form of a question. with that, chris, thank you. >> well, first ever to thank you for organizing this. it's certainly an important topic right now. it's one more and more people have started to foll since last november. so i would like to start really -- i like to cover three things in the next 15 minutes if i can. first of all, give a brief overview of his biography, what he saw, thank you -- and try to account for his popularity.
white we are talking about it today. in the first place, why is he unique. secondly it like to talk about northern virginia and going about a decade. as i think maybe the scene of some of the activists seem th not all of us are that familiar with and i think the context of what the was preaching, just leading up to 9/11 and through those critica yearin the u.s. up until 2004. the ontext of backdrop for those are important, so i'd like to provide some of that. and lastly, i want to talk about his role in relationship with al qaeda, specifically al qaeda in the arabian peninsula and what if any role he had relationship with them. so, al-alwaki has been as intested me since 2004, 2005. he first popped up in an fbi investigation of he northern
virginia feeble group, this is a group of 11 young men that were stying under someone called on we are a maniac who was originally iraqi but was born in washington d.c., spent his adolescence in saudi arabia and then returned. andy had been encouraging these gentlemeto go fight in afghanistan. and he started appear in ome of the investigation and on the case file. and what really struck me and a lot of people after that was his relationship with two of the 9/11 hijackers of the mosque here in fall stretch. and so, i is sort of started -- kept tabs on him from a distance and even until today, even having this event now, it's sort of hard to take down wife disguise significant? ..
this period throughout the nineties until 2000 where he is sort of working his way up until this no point he has no higher islamic education. he studied in yemen and has the basics, has more rights the what kuran and basically what any young man would arn that period. but he's not a sclar, he doesn't really take n that role until maybe the last two or three years. even in the early time he was preaching at san diego or in the church he was more or less an assistant imam. he wasn't a sensation. he wasn't the main araction for northern. so he is working his way through colorado and the state and some of his radical activities start to pop upduring the investigation tied to the cleric
and yemen who was the president of a university. this is where john lker studied a lot of the activism taught in the scenic university and i think it has around a quarter out of th 4,000 students i believe 1,000 or foreign so it's been a constant concern for u.s. officials and europeanfficials returning to their home countries and attention to the car being radicalized so the first inquiry was on that subject on his connection and as far as i know th sort of blew over. it wasn't something hanging over his head. there's no charge and so are around 99, 2,000 she mkes the move from santiago to northern virginia. he had completed the master's in
education at san diego state but he never completed it. i talked to some one he never actually completed but will able to enroll in a ph.d. program in washington, george washington if i am not mistaken. so i know in the san diego he has a connection with one of the other hijackers. he seems to have had a relationship with them and i believe it was a mentoring relationship than any kind of operational guidance. but there are people in the government and people on the 9/11 commission that disagreed d felt strongly he did have an operational position. i haven't seen evidence and i know this is someone who has no training whatsoever in the battle. he doesn't understand bomb making or t trade craft of
terrorism and no tactical and strategic experience so i think what he offered them, the reason they came together was the shared viewpoint. they saw the world in a similar way and formed a connection on that basis and that's the way radicalization works. that is how the process has been working across the country i would say mosques across the country because it doesn't typically happen in the mosques. it may be where like-minded people find each other but typically the more in-depth discussions about what to do with this problem, how to confront the oppression of the unit states takes place in the basement or people's homes outside of the mainstream and i know in colorado there was a member of the competition at the mosque who note that al-awlaki
and others result segregating and talking about the seem to be dangerous radical issues and so i think it is typical in a lot of radicalization cases where the individual sort of mount gilead, fattah the main street but it was curious for him cause he was continuing to serve as a imam for the large congregations of he was sort of plea in both roles. he was keeping his public ersona as an adocate for the muim community and the u.s. and the world but particularly american muslims, particularly you and the same time pursuing ways to get young men to get trading for jihadnd move in that direction so he was really pursuing the two com currently. so in in i believe 2004 he moves to the u.k..
part of th move was because of the pressure from the fbi. there were agents trying to make the case against him and a variety of reasons itdidn't happen that one of them was political pressure from the muslim advocate groups in the united states. i know at that time there was concer political pressures essentially the idea thatthey are conducting an antimuslim reddi-wip taunt and to arrest this imam that would fuel so that is why he got away in part. under the pressure he moves to the u.k. and gets under way with his speaking as it were and most of these are of course online. some of them are private conferences and groups and some of them stay on youtube and remain public indefinitely.
so, his talks after he becomes the imam his talks start to -- he finds he market in northern virginia and he finds an audience and this is a time collecting audiotapes was a big deal. all of the young men from the muslim community are clecting the latest tapes from this scholar, that scholar who gave the talks there is a buzz about that emergence and he's a very effective speaker. charismatic, able to reach and connect with youin a way that a lot o other imams more not able to. they may be staunch your out of touch. but at the same time he is not the only english-speaking imam that's come along. this isn't -- account i don't think maybe 10% for his popularity.
it's partly in my opinion tis bill will identity that he formed between being yen and being america said that he is able to communicate the authticity of what he learned in yemen. to an extent it's the culture of when you are giving a talk th islamic terms are given an arrogant and the pronunciation is correct. he canproduce what he's saying. that is something a lot of english speakers can't do as fluently. a lot of english speaking imams i should say so they are able to -- there's a lot of people attempting to rouse young men and into action. they don't find the same attraction he does and part of it is because the bridge between the two cultures and his authenticity but a lot of others didn't. another reason is his the way he manipulating the popular culture
coming back reading the 2002 ceremony he gave this morning and there's all these references to malcolm x to jimmy ll amine and the sort of theme of overcoming the oppression and th was in 2002. so his perspective, his world view was formed a long time ago. these guys were not radicalized one particular juncture. it is a lot of discussion right now about where the requisition occurred and was it in prison and yemen were was eight -- frankly just a lot of questions i haven't seen any real satisfactory answer and i think part of the answer is there is no -- inhis case there was no radicalization he didn't become radicalized any given point. theywere released here and got thbulk of their education overseas. i'm more familiar with the formal education and where he went with saui arabia but what
ey brought back with him to the u.s. was a very austere form of slam and think he was attempting to re-enter been to the american society. i will say as beazir bhutto did at colorado, what was it tree decades befe that. where he comes and sort of interpre everything has dissidents and sinn and he's not able to talk to women at all even cover women and so again even though he is american he is born here and has immersed in this american activist community with a large muslim congregations at the mosque but he's still not -- he isn't fully american. he's not fully itegrated i society to a large extent he's sort of self segregated from what he considered to be the more dtant part of society. in that conxt there's the
chance he didn't know anything about 9/11. i don't think that he had an operational role th the hijackers. there was a saudi minister stated the same hotel at hijackers september 10th. at first the coincidence is the kind of think that can't be coincidence t in t setting of northern virginia it was and this was a committee that had been there at least three decades before that from the early 70's. millions and millions of dollars had been provided fromaudi arabia from individual government to set up a wide range of muslim organizations, educational exchanges, research institutes, investment firms, really the whole gamut and those of course were the organizations that were rated in operation green quest for or five months after 9/11, early 2002.
he discusses the operation green quest and how ths is the war against muslims. we can say no longer this is a war on terrorism. as against muslims. they raided the trouble i.t. and all these organizations. they arrested them and held th in handcuffs a held their wives of government gunpoint etc. so even from that point on this idea he was once moderate and fair to speak out against 9/11 and the representative of modern muslim ways i think it is a misrepresentation whether it is from our side of the intentionally from his it may be both but this i not someone who was who had a dramatic shift in his attitudes in 2003 or 2000 for some specific point he's been on the study tracks so i
think what turned him to the militancy in the for oa was after his imprisment in yemen. i think that he was heartened by that experience like al-zawahiri was in egypt, and so it forces him to look for other means and after that it is a very typical path of radicalization of all the same concerns and want to ever see a person of the fellow muslims and attempt to do so through nonviolent means. and after those hae failed they were more willing to turn to th militancy but that was facilitated in yemen but we don't think that there is any one key trigger. we fd him in the last two or three years where he is becoming more and more popular on the internet, he has a wide audience
and on his facebook page up unti november, late november or something the majority of the comments are from the yen in the people who are just passing along his talks on spiritual e and this point and that point whatever may have been it is a political discussion there isn't much talk in attacking the u.s. or jih and that nature. it's about is simply his ability as an order and compelling speaker and that still accounts for 90% of his popularity even today. s tapes are -- peace cds and cordings are being sold in a lot of mainstream outlets and they are not about jihad, so as the imam and falls church he is a gateway to the unsuspecting. i think that is putting it very
mildly so you would find yourself listening to -- one could findhemselves becoming a in one hour of ten of his talks in his talks when he releases a statement it is an all-out call for jihad and america and renounces his position that he hadn't taken this up sooner and i think that is a lot of combination of u.s. pushing him into hat position and yemen and taking possession of him. he has no operational role in al qaeda what so ever the reason being he has nothing to offer. this is someone whohas no operational training. he's neverpent time on the battlefield and doesn't know how to manufacture a bomb. he doesn't know how to carry out
a guerrilla attack. plenty of people in yemen who has been in any activity other al qaeda related or otherwise for a long time and there isn't the need. he doesn't offer anything from that sie. he's also not clear. he doesn't have any high year islamic education. what does he offer? i think what he offers is a stick in the fight of the u.s. d similar to the w they promoted recently to be a leader of aqap reasoning guantanamo bay and rehabilitated by the saudi system and infany to the border and now i think they are promoting him to the leadership position with some other reason. thissa great puerto ri opportunity. so jesus about hitting that role and aqap is a smart group and
they are able to take it vantage of him and i think that th have done so well. but in my perspective his tremendous ability, his bringing people who are sympathetic to his movement, people who have the inclination all ready to support the mujahideen and the global jihad in the defense of their brothers and sisters, people who are moving in that direction have that tendency. he is able to get them o actually do something. he's able to fire them up. and so it's difficult -- it's diffict to give an explanation why he's so popular right now in a way it is like trying to explain why steny jeans are polar at the moment. maybe there is a reason based in the 80's on people's psychology or this or that but it's just a trend.
he's not the first english speaker trendy. there e other people like phillips who will be more popular and influential after him. for now he's the man in the spotlight and it is a great deal of charisma. he's able to reach people come able to reach young pele and have an impact on them and his role as a radcal is much greater than his role trying to organize an attack on the u.s. embassy something like that anyone can do that not anyone but they have to dozen guys who can dothat. but for someone to be able to bring thousands of people a step closer to joining mujahideen to getting training, that is a tremendous asset for that movement so i think that is what is against them and with that i will leave it. >> thank you for a much. >> well, i will just elaorate on a few points that chris
touched on, and begin with the point that chris was saying he radical or first embraced violence and i think that is truehere does seem to be an evolution. but from his point of view, i think if he were here today he might say that the world changed or if you observe the world as it's evolved during his lifetime he might sayit's not me that it's changed its you and what do you mean by that? well, a kid abouthis age who grew up in the same neighborhood in yemen as chris mentioned he spent his very early years in the u.s. and went back to yemen to spend his teenage years and yemen and came back to go to college and this friend of his said it was the mujahideen
against the soviet army in afghanistan was the inspirational hot topic of the day for the young men going off the site people deciding over there and theyere extremely enthusiastic about this fight. so then he comes to colorado state and during the summer he travels to afghanistan. i don't kow what year but probably around 92 he comes back to fort collins colorado wearing an afghan hat digging people asking where i spent my summer. it's clearly a poin of pride with him to have been there. this was like, you know, the great triumph, the mujahideen against the infidels and he's living here and then it's really
9/11 comes along and i totally agree that this mrch of to the o speech after what are sometimes called the sarraute rate -- faar were on institutions where he knows a lot of people. that seems to have been his voice is shaking with rage during this talk. that is when a key first uses the language of america is at war with islam although it seems to be a little bit metaphorical at the time, but he seems kind of shocked by this and that comes at a time in the weeks after 9/11 where he seems to be tryingon different roles partly with the connivance of the in the news media. he is often called upon as a fluent speaker of accent english to explain various aspects of islam to comment on 9/11 and he
reveled in the limelight according to his colleagues and he said some very moderate stuff. he said in fact to "the new york times" in the past we were oblivious. we meaning of the muslim imam because we didn't expect things to happen. now i think things are different. what we might have tolerated in the past we won't tolerate any more. there were statements inflammatory considered just talk but now we realize the talk can be taken seriously and acted upon in a violent way, he is either sincerely or not so since you're presenting himself as a moderate by who will root out the radicalism that at the same time his main role is explaining the muslim point of view and even a sort of here's why the violenccame to america. so then he seems to have been set off also by the invasion of
iraq ad now you have the air strikes in hagaman so his list of grievances and list f approved the u.s. is the long suspected openly at war with islam now is a long one and so i think that he reveled in his understanding of not only the language with the sort of american political viewpoint and in the recent statement he said jihad is now as americanas apple pie and british as afternoon tea and he's tauning this country and what is intriguing about the most recent lengthy pronouncement which was an expert in al jazeera and the full text video recently came out and it is a long talk with one of the things kind of fascinatg to see is his analysis of what the u.s. wants versus what he wants is not that different from our analysis.
he says what they want is an american democratic liberal passivand civil islam and in a typical no showing o his sort of knowledge of thenemy he cites a rand report, and corporati report. so that i think is far too late to fairly the beat of your description of what the states are seeking and he's completely broken with that and speaking a different brand of islam. let me just make a couple of other points quickly. one is i think that chris hinted to this but some ways i believe his english is almost a lite bit misleading in the sense that it disguises the death of his ltural roots and yem and shaping adolescents and a friend
in the association of colorado state talked about how uneasy was with women be talking about colorado state there are not that many guys runnin the other way from when in. on american college campuses and but he carried that with him for a much. he married a distant cousin always covered and never shown to friends right after graduating from college so this guy remained yemen even as he worked in these american moques and absorbent american culture. finally he doesn't have any operatnal role. as chris suggested in a way to look up bobs or like on
abdumutallab lagat onthe plane you don't need the skills necessary to do that, but i think the american authorities believe tha idal malik had a role in getting abdumutallab on the plan and in that sense supposedly he is part of the recruiting persuadg and preparing chain of supply and al qaeda and the peninsula now, so certainly the americans think that he has an operational le and for that reason earlier this year he had the distinction of being the first american citizen put on the officia list of approved target's of capture or kill, notably killing and that raises one final question which
i think we might want to get into in the questions, and that is to what degree has the united states had attention to this guy and as a member of the media media attention to him made him what he is today. you know, if you talk to people who mainly follow the chehab through the arabic sources he was a sort of nobody. but in the english-speaking world he was very big. but by as a yemeni guy talked to him after the reports of a aroundhat the cia wanted to kill him that a large number of people started singing who is this guy that the great america wants to kill and are we sort of fleeing to his strengths in a way by putting him on a pedestal
and it's certainly true among those who cover the tourism moment and movements historically they've always rely on the reaction were often the overreaction of the enemy. and it's interesting to see that after being ccused in the pre-9/11 er of being at war with islam, you know, and i am not making ny comment here on whether we should or should not take any paricular step but from the point of view of a young muslim man looking at the world, we now have a pretty big war going on in afghanistan, iraq, basically pakistan and much more limited degree yemen and certainly cert steps and other parts of the muslim world so to do wonder for what degree as donald rumsfeld once asked are we generating more recruits
for the global jihad and we are capturing or killing and if you look at the curve of al-awlaki influence he is a case study so that we stopped right there. >> thank you very much. i think in many ways any discussion of al-awlaki raises more quesons than answers and both of you were hiting on not just the language skills or the ability on the switch of english and arabic and there has been a good deal of discussion about how his ability to speak in clear went idiomatic english and switch into arabic is a real sense of authenticity and from the many senses it is for pople
going in a certain direction it is all i need to get even further. i have a number of questions on of the things on often think about is how popular he is in yemen or has he become because of what was done i think is something both of you touched on. i would like to open up to questions now and again, please introduce yourself before you start and please ask a question. who would like to start? >> i guess i will. one of the things that i have come to think about i'm not sure what he has done in the men that is a crime. i don't know the answer to that estion but i wonder i think this is something that cannot in his video all that he is doing is explaining and defending what is already known. the point that you are making. so maybe if he ould comment on that wt is it we want the
government to do? >> well, i mean even going back and i know that the american agencies as they slowly became aware mostly as chris mentioned there was a bief counterterrorism investigation in 99 and in 2000 but mostly after they discovered a hijackers there were certain scrambles the interviewed him on a number of times after 9/11, but then later when he was in london and later after he went to yemen i know therewas a very active debate inside of the u.s. government how to sort of essentially where does the first amenent stop and some kind of terror related crime begins. this country is much less liable to crge each other with crimes related to free expression of an many countries even i europe, and i also know that there was a dispute inside of the american
government over his incarceration in yemen. this is an american citizen being held in yemen visited by diplomats and also visited by the fbi. and at one point i know the yemeniovernment went to john negroponte been director of national intelligence and said we've got your citizens in jail. he was originally jailed over the tibal piece that the kind of for holding him partly because they knew e u.s. was interested and negroponte i'm told he essentially said we have particular objection to his being held so the capitol and for months and then they came under pressure from tribes and others to let him go and he went back and i know that the fbi and the director of the fbi had been quite uncomfortable with te idea that americans were sort of conniving and the incarceration without charges and sothe second time the u.s. government
set weave no objection that he is being released and was released and the rest is history but i do think the yemen government has a hard time trying to figure out so does the u.s. government. >> i think -- you are asking has he committed any crime in yemen i would say you don't actually need to commit a crime. i'm notsure that it is essential to be attacked on that basis the reason they haven't done anything is if you look at the map of yemen of 1965 where he is from there is the upper t login of the lower lock speak part of yemen that is his family. and he's there receny in the family can come. so arresting him and trying him and handing him over to the americans forget it. even of arresting him and try and him what anchor so ma tribesmen which you may know there's a separate insurgency going on in yemen.
in the south there has been a renaissance of southern culture and identity ad revival that has taken place in large areas where heris internal dynamic where it isn't worth rivaling the mass of about of thousands of people affiliated in that area over thisne guy. >> there is a microphone coming. >> sprick i'm with of the congressional research service. my question is related to what isthe roe that al-awlaki ad in some of the cases? every time there's a new
terrorist evened it is immediately reported that he was the perpetrator was influenced by alawlaki either his lectures or forth. what we do know in the hasan case is that hasan ached out to him there were only to e-mails at al-awlaki replied to and speculation that maybhe was being entrapped so all the other e-mails that hasan had se he didn't rspond to and there's talk in the cse about abdumutallab and tat he was influenced but what do we know in the open source literature about what that was exactly otr than maybe they just listened to his seat. >> i can to get stuff done that. it is a very good question because somebody said finding a yanna mosul man was influenced a little bit like finding a public influenced by rush limbaugh.
there is an element and again this goes to the difficulty that the u.s. government at least in earlier times in sort of penning the crime on this by. he says what he wants, people listen or don't listen. the thing that was striking, however, is in a number of cases i counted a dozen or so before the fort hood, his material, the more radical material, not the cd on the life of the profit and the life of the companion of the more radical material turned up in about a dozen cases all english-speaking muslims in investigions in britain, more than half, the u.s. and canada, and in some ways it's hard to distinguish cause and efct. if you begin to get radicalized and go out and look on the web i recommend this to everyone, put
under any of the spellings into google and you'll be amazed at the number of m p3 posted everywhere everybody has this guy posted somewhereou can listen to his voice from english for those that don't have arabic and is it that young guys are getting radicalized therefore they go on the web and say well what a great talk i'm going to put this on my laptop and sted to my latop were that's probably a little more ausibl than the aternate cenario where they are absolutely moderate and go tough on the inrnet and stumble acros the dical al-awlaki and ready to plant a bomb but there is a ort of symbiosis and when you think about the american muslim a lot of small communities you also often quite islatedperhaps not gettg a lot of encouragement for any radical thought he might be having from his family or his
community this is a virtual community that he can join and the only thing about the visit i might add is despite man efforts whaven't been able to get a hold of the e-ils but certainly if you listen to what he himself has said the first question he recalls once held what they to be under the law of islam if i ever to kill or a soldier were to kill his fill of americansoldiers because they are about to go out and kill muslims and certainly he indicated that he thought that would be a good idea and certainly after the fact of course he posted the posting saying he is a hero and approved it in retrospect by you are righto rai this question. >> i woldust add that i think he was catapulted into the
mainstream media after the fort hood shootings but before that going back to recall in toroto there was a plot to do a lot of things the prime minister had to take over parliament and there was bout 18 guys involved in that case, too and i think three or four others at least we could point to but it is a good question to ask how was he involved? what does this involve the? and it's really just dialogue. maybe not even diague we could say watching in some cases. these were people i know in hat case they had some sort of video with him but he's offering inspiration to them and support and assistance which is critical. you remember the fort dix case in new jersey and siof them had towards the end of the were being monitored closely for about a serious threat they were
toward the end tages looking for a imam who would legtimize their actions so they were not being radicalized by indiduals, thy were seeking imam who wouldn't radicalize them further would give them direction cities provided that. i think there is the most critical aspect inolved. >> back in the middle east institute this has been a fascinating conversation i think you for it. all three of you. but it does lead me to wonder as politically difficult as it is for the yen in government to prosecute andhold alawlaki degette mount a good defense in a courtroom in this country
and i am a little bit on sure as to what the president is gven that people can preach as long as they don't actually tried to kill an abortionist they can preach that it's a good idea to kill abortionists and other fairly of courageous political speech is protected under our constitution. are there any paallel cases where our government successfully prosecuted people who are preaching jihad violence of this kind? >> if i could quickly there was almostn identical parallel caseaised in the same way. they were carrying out the same activities and to me it was tried and convicted serving life in prison so i think there certainly is. there was almost a tentacle cases.
>> i would add to tat to be the prosecution was and is quite controversial and there is a major effort trying to return at and so long but if you believe what you hear from american intelligence officials, al-awlaki in recent months crossed the line he hadn't crossed before. he allegedly had direct contact with abdumutallab before he got on that plane to try to blow it up fo detroit so i think if what is alleged about the more recent activity is correct there may be much more direct case of attempted murder and the same kind charges that he himself was facing we conspiracy. but we haven't seen that evidence that was alged but it does raise also the comfortable
question of if you are targeting him for debt potentially by missile wire from the drug as a cia lawyer pointed out to me under the law if we want to eavesdrop on the cellphone which we presumably do, we have to go to the fight for an intelligence court and lee of the evidence that he is an agent of an international terrorist group and get warrant but as far as anyone knows, thapproval process fr visiting them could potentially be murdered or killed hasn't gone to the dicial branch. it's been in th executive particularly the nsc for approval but it does seem like there is something out of whack when the congress passed something that says you need a
warrant to listen to somebody but you don't need a warrant to kill them. >> i think that this is an interesting point about the difference between advocating violence and stepping over the li. something that as i listen to both of you speak something that comes to mind is one way or another there is something after al-awlaki to read what is that like? the implications for him? the picture the war on terror were radicalization and there are other guys out there like him. can you comment on that? >> well, i think in his case now it's sort of lose limbs for the
u.s. which is why i think they have been so excited to get him on their media docket. his videos are increasing in popularity. since we know after the fort hood shooting on christmas eve attempt these things happen it occurs to a wider and wider audience familiar with his name. none of us pronounced it rght. but i think in death or life either way he is going to grow in popularity to a certain point and thene will fade. there will be other english speaking, french speaking, i telling and speaking cross-cultural able to find an audience and i think that as the culture changes those people who are able to best be in touch with, to best connect to the audience, there may be nother
five al-awlaki in the next five years. i think that is probably the most likely possibility. and it is shown i think a model for -- to step back i don't think someone can say this is what al-awlaki the last 15 years we can replicate this and i can become the next one and i don't think there is any formula. again it is like trying to assess why the trend thistrendy but i think it is the means of finding an audience on the internet now or an audience through the internet makes the process easier that more and more people are going to be competing for the space. people will be continually trying to compete to represent and speak on behalf of mulims to be the ones speaking out in defense o all of these atrocities wherever they may be afghanistan, iraq, that's been going onfor ten, 20, 30 years. >> to add to that, one thing
that struck me reporting is as i said he's all over te web and to confront him out there and that isn't going away so if he is hit by the missile tomorrow if barely changes the status and the influence and aruably it would enhance his status to become a martyr. you can kind of imagine the attributes pouring in from the branches of al qaeda around the world and you can't remove this guy now from the web if you take postings down and put them back up so that also as the u.s. tries to think about this in the strategically is an interesting thing to consider that is his death a desirable goal or could he be more dangerous for a period of time and the other thing that has made him i think
is subject of so much fascination recently as as you know in 2000 when there was what seems to be an uptick in the number of u.s.based focus terrorist plots almost always been broken up ana couplof them in the category of totally controlled by the fbi at the ginning to end fake bombs supplied by the fbi and the kind of things that never posed much of a threat but he also the case trouble into a lot of people and tting me and that is the five young guice from northern virginia who headed off to trey did qtr to join against the troops in afghanistan allegedly. they were being held n pakistan and wander around looking for the chehab group that can hook th up with the war and the
same kind of hopeless but when you go back and study the history there is a variation one had a minor criminal record and one was a stellar stdent of the universi but they are very differs from different national backgrounds all u.s. citizens and the idea that hese guys growing up in northervirginia could kind of look around and say the best optionor me is to go ot and sacrifice myself in afghanistan is a kind of shocking tig and i don'tknow if any influence the kind of guys that undoubtedly woulon the web and listened to him but i think that this another reason why when you ask what comes after al-laki with a lot of people are worried about i think it is this erosion of the notion that the community wasn't particularly susceptible to racalization. that remains true but te thing
is yu need a got a white shassad to look at what he's done to the enormous impact. you need ahandl to have a huge impact and so if there has been through the work a kind of erosion of the barriers against extremist violence among the young menin the country and a handful it is a very significant thing. >> i think this case really demonstrates how complex and difficult a lot of the questions are. it strikes me that listening t what both of you have to say al-awlaki is not going to go away no matter what and we will only become much more popular and i think i didn't look this morning that you can still get all of these sermons and
i visited al-awlaki's mosques in this country and talked to a lot of people at each of them, and i would say that there is this sillusionment not surprisingly and this is probably not restricted to muslims but ayone who puts high hopes and i feel strong about a subject that puts high hopes in any presidential candidate on the right or the left, republican or democrat. they are inevitably disappointed by what actually happens on the ground because the problems ar so difficult and merican presence tend to high hurdle in the middle but there is a guy with a muslim name, muslim father also early on and went and gave the speech in cairo and went and cerinly if you read what he says about the great obama he was trying to encourage the sens of disillusionment if you thought america was going to
change as strike forget about it all he did was increase the drone strike killing innocent muslims andso they are playing that card nd maybe that sense of disillusionment is playing into the equation a little bit. >> it didn't change al qaeda's approach. remember al-zahiri came up with a talk about him in the first year and was frankly a racist, it was pretty unsavory and as far as i can see that didn't gain a big audience, so there isn't the same easy trigger issue but in reality none of the policies of change, so i think it isn't difficult for them to make an argument but whoever you elective and the situation in gaza with israel and the palestinian question is not close to being resolved or looked at any closer during this
administration. in afghanistan and remains active battleground obviously and have bee engaged d firing missiles and in addition to that giving large degree of intelligence of support to the services. >> it's hard to say it is more likablefor jihad it isn't a game over. >> yes man in the front. >> i direct the center for mu studies and want to thank you for your talk. there is 1. i am still unclear about and that is why can't the yemeni government of rest like they did the one time before and simply hand them over for trial in the ud states?
why couldn't brough be the route the u.s. government could pursue instead of maki them a target? >> you might be the best person to answer that. >> well, i think the first thing that comes to mind in the political will inside of yemen to work for the reason chris the doubt about the internal politics is that the constitution forbid the extradition and this has been a problem it in the united states and yemen. several individuals by the way who were wanted in this country for terrorist crimes and the yen in government will not because of their nationalities. >> the other aspect is now that his provide a listo high when they grabb him in 2006 in the trial dispute and locked him away, you know, he was a very
low profile. now if they grabbed him he is called on the tried to come to his resc. there have been competing statements from trial leaders whether they are going to stick with him or let him go but there is no question that the low would be a high-profile event in yemen and in the world saw it poses much more political dilemma i would think. >> anyone else like to ask a question? yes, ma'am. >> my name is laura with the university of arizona. my question is if you both have been speaking about how in many ways the american media pulic government has almost propelled them to this stature and we are not sure now what we can view i a response ether way as a
difficult deciion but what about the future? what should be dondifferently so that th is not a continual response mode in preventing things? [laughter] i'm just a reporter. other countries, european countries and many muslim countries, saudi arabia, indonesia have dne muc more along the lines of counter radicalization either individual rehabilitation programs where we take someone seen to be an extremist and try to brainwash them more on brainwash them and then more general counter efforts. the u.s. has not done much of that and is nervous about it because the government is not supposed to get on its course
and start expressing itself particularly about religious matters. it's a very tricky thi. but some people might say that certainly many people in the muslim commuty have donehis on a small-scale in the muslim groups and some think more needs to be done in terms of putting out not allowing al-awlaki to go unanswered out there in cyberspace but to give young people an alternative view in the view of a guy like al-awlaki that they can put some kind of argument on the other side. >> i would say a little bit of the direct question but i did that it's relevant. you mentioned the five guys from northern virginia arrested in pakistan. i found thatfascinating for the reason that they had been active the local chapter in the islamic circles of north
america. that is an organization in the u.s. since 1971 and was part of the longer activist tradition of islamic activists whcame to the u.s. in the early 60's and set up an champagne the illinois and for most of their history they were not concerned with preventing radicalization. we will say that. i think it is fair to say they were more concerned with pursuing atimuslim discrimination than worrying about their people becoming radicalized. after th happened that was the first time i can recall clearly they were going to take action they wanted to set up programs to intervene. they wanted to be involved and obviously preservation to the degree but that is a change from what was happening in the past ten or 15 years and so i think encouraging more of that is the answer that you have to be involved with muslim community period. that is more of an issue for the law enforcement and police. the models, i worked with some
people in australia who had i believe were ahead of us in encountering radicalization. and th had a simple model they learned from the u.k. that they defeat terrorists. it's learned from the ira. it's really the only way tt that can be done that you can defeat the radicalization, counter to counter radicalize people is almost an impossible to prevent them from, you can't prevent people fromooking bad thoughts. you can learn to address the sides and work with people in these communitiethat know the signs even, even more keenly and are more aware of them and i think that's the best model. in terms of al-awlaki's jump to start in such a speech, jack, there was just conflict of influence -- excuse me, i dnt think we can sit back and say
well if we just ignore them and don't speak about it he won't be there. we can't. so why don't know that it's possible to do that in the media or the government level but at the community level with law enforcement it could be effective. .. and they all are responsible for ecting the government. and anybody who spent time in this country would knothat's
not true. there's a huge range of opinions on american policy and un-american policy in the muslim world to be re. so i think there is an opportunity to draw the differences and say this is not a factual representation of the united states. yes, ma'am? >> make the point that there actually was a very eloquent response to that last message by another popular american man named ascites cheka anyway not only a factual recitation according to our, very detailed, ve well cited and very authoritative. and that's been cirulating among muslim americans, but it hasn't got media attention. and i think that just like we can't ignore al-alwaki in his messages, these ed to be covered your >> there's been ople since 9/11 thing wre the modern muslim voices?
they're everywhere. it wasn't after that torturing that, but they're not. they're not newsworthy people saying everything. so i don't know the mechanism of ringing those voices and whether it's a governmental mouse mace, but there should be a way to amplify those voices so they should have equal time in the spotlight, but that s never been the case so far. >> glad she that point. [inaudible] [laughter] [inaudible] >> well, you know, far be it for me to defend the u.s. media, you know, but there is no limit of what is news? and no, we don't write about all the planes that did not crash.
so when these fiveuys go two-seat jads and pakistan, that's news. you kow, the 500,000 guys who did not go maybe much more sensible in the way, that they don't women post news. but i think we are obligated to do a better job can e done of looking at this sort of dynamics with an a muslcommunity in this countrygeat and one thing that sikes you when you go out on the hustings and visit mosques and so one is a non-muslim reporter, if you find that there is this dilemma that american muslims often face, which is coming in though, if you say a couple yes ago if you said you were often against the iraq war is, so what, as an american against the iraq war,
what was that 50% of the population or something and the other 50% was for it for her will. but if you're muslim and you say you're against the iraq war, there's something coming in though, potentially tedious about that good you know, how do you feel about the afghan war? and so there is those coming in now, it's sort of like i suppose the left in the days of red scare and maccarthy is something so one where so-and-so is connect it with so-and-so. you know, so-and-so petén at the same mosque that al-alwaki had reached out. what does this mean? so there is a lot of sort of suspicion, most of it i think without any grounds whatsoever that the air. >> i'd like to thank both of you for coming out to at this discussion today. i was really hoping that this conversation would do it lead to kind of explain and elaborate and add somenew wants to some
of the discussions that we've and having about anwar al-awlaki. in addition to raising a lot of other questions we need to focus on in the future. athe bar speakers have written cellent pieces which you can find outside. chris has a piece in the west point sentinel from a few months ago, a girl profile of anwar al-awlaki. and scott has an excellent "new york times" magazine article which you can get outside. please join me in thanking our speakers. [applause] [inaudú? columbus ohio -- from
columbus, ohio, this is out one hour and 10 minutes. >> i'm bob, he's carl. good to get that out of the way. >> i think the best thing we can do, given what people seem to be asking us lately, particularly about could this happen again? is to tell you a little bit about what we did and what happened. because it is very anomalous, concerns of the way that we in
terms of the way journalism work then and the way it works now. we were reporters at the "washington post." i happen to be in the office on that day, june 17 or 18th, 1972. bob was calledn by the city editor. >> if it was a nice day. and it was a saturday. and the editors in the morning said, who would be dumb enough to come in and work today? [laughter] and my name immediately came to their lives. >> and i was already in the office. i was late handing in another piece. that was a good story, obviously better tn the piece i was working on. >> you never got tat he's done, did you? >> i think i did.
anyway. five men had been arrested in the headquarters of the national democratic party, wearing rubber gloves. they found them in business suits and they found -- as the police report would have $100 bills in sequence, as well as wiretping equipment. so obviously this was a story not about your average burglary. >> and the approach we ok was the poce reporter happened. what happened? what can we find out? it was very incremental -- just some examples, another reporter
found out from the police there with these cryptic entries in the address books of two of the burglars. and howard hunt had been the director -- the operational director, and as carl and i oked at this, w house. and call said, this could only be one of two claims. -- two and things. [laughter] he said the whorehouse and i said the white house. >> the rest was history. >> this was our empirical approach. .
you have the same thing here at the john glenn school, do you not? [laughter] >> i wish. >> i think the important thing to start with the premise is we had this advantage of not being national political reporters. at the time, there was a common belief among the national political reporters in washington that there was it so called new nixon and that there existed this perfect,ell oiled white house machinery that was really incapable o mistakes. here was this eak-in that logic, particularly after we had found the money, we had trad some of the money to the committee for the reelection of president nixon, logic would te you this has something to
do with the white house. get the conventionalelief, including among our fellow reporters, both at the "washington post" and the national staff and the town and general, there were about 2500 naonal reporterst that time -- >> manyeople called it the watergate caper. like it was kind of a joke. >> it made no sense at first. george mcgovern was going to be the democratic nominee for president. there were certain extent would beat him. why would any campaign chicanery go on. in september, we were able to establis that the president's campaign manager and former attorney general of the united states hadontrolle the secret fund, paid for the bog at watergate and other underver activities against the
democrats. washington was a different place then. you could make a phone call and it john mitchell on the telephone. i have a phone number for him. i thought i could get him. on that occasion, the white house, as it had throughout the first weeks after the break-in, had mad our conduct rather it in the conduct of the president and his men. the president and others wou get up and attack us at the washington post for making up fiction and having any political agenda. they did it on this occasion, too. we wrote the story that said mitchell controlled of this fund. i called mitchell and said we have a story -- >> you got him, he was asleep. >> he said what time is it? i said 11:00.
he said 11:00 when? i said at night. he may have had a pop or two. i said we have a story a would like to read tyou. i ben reading. john mitchell while attorney general of the united states controlled a secret fu. he said jesus. i read a few more words by which time it said john mitchell well attorn-general controlled a secret fund andaid for undercover activities against the political opposition. i got that far and he said je sus. i g to the end of the third paragraph by the time the draft was clear, he said jesus christ.
you are going to print that crap if you run that, then a person from the washington post is going to get her tit caught in a big effect render. i was not accustomed to talking to an attorney general. i mped back from the phone myself because of fear ofy own parts because this can certainly have the power to squeeze them. he went on to say when this campaign is over, we are going to do a little story on you boys, too. in retrospect, it is an amusing story, but i was 28 years old at the time. it was about the most chilling time in my 50 years of journalism that i ever experienced. this was a man of enormous power
and the threat was real. i believe to this threat in terms of being intimidating. i called ben bradlee, the editor of "the washington post" to tell them what happened and he said mitcll really said that? i said yes. and you have it in your notes? he said put it all in the paper except for the tit. [laughter] >> i think the language was leave out the tit. [laughter] >> that is what we did. mrs. gramm came up to my desk. i would not used toeeing her. she said to you have any more messages for me? [laughter] it was also just befe that story that when we had the information about