tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN March 8, 2014 4:00am-6:01am EST
-- this is 45 minutes. ♪ >> all right. good morning. good to be here with you today. i have the privilege of being with the panel here to discuss what i think is one of the defining issues of our time, and that is where are we going to set the line as a country between the government that rightfully protects us against some very serious threats, terrorism, for an attorney, and the government that has a capability to invade our privacy and potentially infringe on our liberties. the panel we have today will do a great job of exploiting those issues for you. i will introduce them in a second, but i wanted to make one other mention here. those have an important argument to make, and we live in a troubling time that will challenge us to think more about
this than just today. that may get right to the panel. the honorable jim gilmore served as the 68th governor of virginia. today he works as the president of free congress and american opportunity. he builds healthy communities that bring innovative policies. in virginia he did a lot of remarkable things. he reduced the property tax on cars by 70%. he increased funding for historically black colleges. he was the first chief executive in the united states to create a cabinet-level position focused on technology. he is a veteran of the army. back in 1999 he served as the chairman of a congressional panel that became known as the gilmore commission.
governor, welcome here. all right. our next panelist you have seen on radio and television. the honorable bruce fein. he served as the deputy associate attorney general during the reagan years. he was a director for the republican commission on covert arms sales to iran. he has been a visiting fellow at heritage. he has advised numerous countries on constitutional reform. he is regularly called to testify before congress.
he is a founder of the litchfield group. bruce, welcome onboard here. all right. the last person i will bring up does not need a pair of bifocals to read my cue cards. he is the founder -- he has a fan club. charlie kirk and he's 20 years old. he is the founder of turning point usa, a national student movement dedicated to young people about capitalism. he has grown turning point usa from nothing to having representation in over 100 high schools and college campuses across the country. he has appeared on fox news over 60 times.
charlie, welcome aboard. all right. very good. i am going to go over the conversation, and we will listen to someone who has been in the news daily. >> talk about how the surveillance state functions. does it target the actions of americans? >> nsa, it is focused on getting intelligence by any means possible. on the grounds of self-certification that they serve the national interest. originally we saw that as foreign intelligence gathered overseas. increasingly we see it is happening domestically. to do that, the nsa specifically
targets the communications of everyone. it is not just anybody -- it filters them and analyzes them and measures them and it stores them for periods of time because that is the easiest, most efficient, and most valuable way to achieve these ends. while they may be intending to target someone associated with a foreign government or someone they suspect of terrorism, they're collecting your communications to do so. any analyst at any time can target anyone. where those communications will be picked up depends on a range of the sensor networks and the authorities at that analyst is empowered with, and not all lists have the ability to target anything. i, sitting at my desk, had the authority to wiretap anyone, from you or your accountant to a federal judge to even the
president, if i had a personal e-mail. >> it is a dramatic statement. before we start let's mention one thing. if you want to tweet russians, we will bring those up to the panel. bruce, let me start with you. you just heard what edward snowden said. you represented his family last year. is he a traitor to the nation or is he a hero? >> he is more in the line of a patriot, as thomas paine described it, as someone who saved his country from his government. what mr. snowden said -- [applause] was if anything an understatement. all of you in the audience, all up here, all members of the senate and house, has had all of their telephony metadata, whether a domestic or
international call, since may of 2006 collected and stored in a database without any suspicion at all that our phone information is related to foreign intelligence, international terrorism, or otherwise. it is a staggering database. the testimony they intended to keep this massive collection of information secret from the american people forever. the program has no end point to it. over eight years, according to two panels selected by president obama, the program has foiled zero international terrorism plots. it has produced basically nothing.
the justification is that according to the nsa operators it gives us the confidence level that there in fact is no connection between all of you in the audience and international terrorism. that shows how far we have, from the original meaning of the fourth amendment, which was captured in a statement that was addressed to the british parliament in 1763. the poorest man is castle maybe defying all the forces of the crowd. you may be frail, the roof failing, the wind may blow through it, the storms may enter, the rains may enter, the king of england cannot enter. all his forces dare not cross the threshold of the ruined tenement. that, ladies and gentlemen, is the spirit of the fourth
amendment that we have totally lost. the default is issued in the united states in the eyes of the founding fathers was our right to be left alone from any government intrusion unless there was some reasonable grounds to believe we are connected with some kind of wrongdoing. we do not have to give a reason to be left alone. it is our right because we are human beings. it is a government that needs to give a reason. when they are collecting telephony metadata on everyone in the room forever, that does not satisfy the fourth amendment. >> all right, i saw you nodding your head. maybe you're shaking it,
perhaps. what do you think of what snowden did? >> talking about edward snowden, which is what bruce related and addressed here. the first thing i will do as i want to be sure that everybody in this room understands where i come from in the past. i've been the governor of virginia. i was the governor of virginia during the 9/11 attack. i know very well what this is about. when i was the chairman of the advisory panel on homeland security and terrorism, i spoke out against the accumulation of potential data. as governor, i even vetoed red light bills to make sure that people were not being watched on their own streets. that is not the question. the question here is edward snowden.
this is edward snowden. this is a picture of the "new york post" with edward snowden on the front cover. edward snowden is a traitor. edward snowden is a traitor and a coward. the fact is that edward snowden betrayed his trust. they gave him a special high clearance which he then violated. he hid the fact that he was doing these things and there are some allegations that he obtained this information through trickery. when the time came for him to flee, as a coward would, he told his superior that he was going to go to the mainland for some kind of medical treatment when interacting with the opposite way and went to hong kong where he then proceeded to expose this information if not the press, to the chinese. at later time he goes off to russia and want to make common cause with this stalinist thug who today is doing something right now that is not acceptable in the ukraine. the definition of treason is someone who makes common cause with our enemies, someone who gives aid and comfort to our enemies. and the fact is that edward
snowden does that, remains doing it to this day. he is a traitor. he should stand up to his convictions, be someone who is prepared to face the music, and make his case. then see what the jury says. they could acquit him, or a judge could take these concerns that bruce has expressed into consideration. the law must be upheld, particularly to someone who has had this kind of trust. >> before i get back to you, i want to hear from charlie because he comes from a younger generation. you have heard two polar descriptions of edward snowden. what do kids in your generation view edward snowden as? >> he will be speaking at a conference in austin, texas, by way of skype. i do not think people look at him as a traitor, as to what he revealed.
every single tweet, every single text message is being stored and analyzed. we are in a culture where what you believe is being used against you, that should worry every single person in this room. every single person. >> all right. if he is a traitor, would you defend him and how would you defend him? >> the government has not charged him with treason. they have accused him of espionage act violations, which i believe when a citizen exposes government wrongdoing like violations of the constitution, it would be unconstitutional to make that a crime. he did not have an adjudication of that because mr. snowden has not been formally indicted by grand jury, but i want the audience to know the federal government has not accused him
of treason. secondly, with regard to the rule of law, let's examine exactly the circumstances in which mr. snowden made his revelations. the senate intelligence committee and the house for years had known of this secret surveillance program that is now brought forth through mr. snowden's abilities. a lawsuit brought against by senator rand paul, because we know. the nsa intended to make this program secret forever. in march, over the revelations of last year, before the senate intelligence committee, the director of national intelligence james clapper was asked by senator ron wyden, are you collecting data on millions of americans? moreover, senator wyden had
issued that question 24 hours in advance so he could deliberate on it. mr. clapper answered no. a clearly perjurious statement. you are talking about the rule of law? in a democracy the people have a right to know what their government is doing, because we get to decide what the policy is going to be. and when the snowden revelations came forth, the american people have forced changes from what the nsa was doing on a because of mr. snowden's revelations. this cannot not be found without the revelations because before that because of speculations, it would have been thrown out of court. you're just guessing that the government is doing this to you. he needed a rule of law function
which was nonfunctioning before that time. i wanted to say about all the members of the senate intelligence committee who did not have the courage to do what a 29-year-old had to do for them. and it is especially outrageous -- they had come as you point out, a duty to uphold and defend the constitution, including the fourth amendment, which they were not doing. in addition, unlike mr. snowden, they enjoined debate clause of article four section six, which indicates and established to document that any member of congress can disclose anything free from worry of executive retaliation. a senator read 47 articles of the pentagon papers into the record. they said that was off-limits. the constitution gives this community to embolden figures, congressional oversight, and that was the default position.
i underscore that if it were not for edward snowden we would not be having this conversation. this is the inner work of what democracy is about. >> governor gilmore, bruce said earlier there has not been a single attack stopped by the program. do you know of anything that you are aware of where we stop an attack because of the gathering of this information? >> let me say i did not say he was charged with treason. i was saying he should be charged with treason. as far as the espionage act goes, that is a direct violation of the espionage. ron paul said he should have amnesty. rand paul said he should have a life sentence. this is wrongheaded. we should underscore the rule of law and the obligations and trust we put in people who have
security clearances. so the question that bruce has raised, the question of whether or not this kind of problem justifies all of this or not, i have to tell you, i have been the governor during the 9/11 attack. i have been in the pentagon, in the smoking holes of the pentagon. when i was there i looked around at all the rubble and said this is a terrible thing. there were people here, and he said, you are within 30 people of peoples pieces who are underneath all this rubble here right now. over the past 10 years, since that time, we have seen a very serious problem of the growth of the attacks on this country and the potential dangers to this country, the people who can do a cyber attack, who can do an explosion to intimidate our civil activities like in boston. the dangers are significant, and
i have to tell you there will be another attack on the united states. there simply will be. i agree here -- our idea here is to prepare this country and protect it to the extent it can come consistent with civil freedoms. we are americans. we can preserve the civil freedoms of the american people, and that has to be our goal and objective. >> i want to get the charlie first. you are the first generation who grew up with facebook and twitter. is your generation reconciled to the fact that when they get up in the morning the government will be collecting their phone records as part of being an american in the 21st century? >> hardly. people asked, why do people care about the nsa? are they ok with it? the way i answer that, young people have -- on their twitter accounts. there's a fine line between what you tweet, posts, and the public
and what is behind -- there is a secrecy lined the government has crossed, especially for the younger generation. there's information we hold on these accounts, whether it be twitter, or personal iphone, that the government has overreached, taken, catalog, and hopefully it will not be used against us in the future. it is an opportunity for conservative activists to engage young people in this conversation. it is much more of a natural fit for the limited government advocates. when barack obama said the nsa is a problem, i will make all these changes, 10 minutes later he said go sign up for healthcare.gov. he said i will rein in the nsa. yes, privacy matters a lot. otherwise, why would we be doing all the stuff we are doing? >> turn the tables for you for a
second. you defend what edward snowden did. if i told you i talked to several intelligence officers, he said that the methods they were using, unrelated to what the nsa was doing, is by revelations he was making. how do you respond to that charge, and should he have used poor judgment in what he released? >> before i answer that, i need to go back to governor gilmore's statement. the more rampant lawlessness which is government violating the rule of law, which he seems to be indifferent about. he did not say at all that james clapper should be indicted for lying to the american people. total silence. what about the rampant unconstitutional actions of -- i want to complete my -- i want to respond, because that is one of several. we have a president who claims and has used the authority on
two occasions to kill any american citizen that he unilaterally decides in secret is a danger. that is due process of law? that sounds like putin sending poisons to london. there is no due process served. the surveillance program is another example. he decides he does not want to faithfully execute the law? he says i do not like the law against immigration. i will not enforce those. he does not like the laws against marijuana. i will not enforce those. all of these examples of government lawlessness, total silence on governor gilmore's part. when the government becomes a lawbreaker, it invites every man and woman to become a law unto themselves. >> governor, no more silence. can you answer? >> bruce, i have been on the front lines of this battle. i have been an intelligence
agent during the cold war in germany. i had the secret clearances. i had the opportunity to work on behalf of my country. i was a governor during the 9/11 attack. i resent your implication that maybe i do not have any interest in the civil freedoms of this country. the answer is that we need to have proper oversight. we need to have proper laws. if you are going to misuse the data, then they need to be prosecuted. there needs to be proper oversight by the congress. we need to have this kind of things. they had the opportunity, they had the opportunity to take this data and target a person that they know from other sources, human intelligence or other communications intelligence, that the person is a potential danger to this country overseas. and then they are in a position to find out who that person is talking to in this country.
and they also have an opportunity to see who that person is talking to and to develop investigatory techniques against the possibility of attacks in this country. the fact is that the enemy may not yet be successful in getting people in this country that can attack this country, but they would aspire to do that. they would like to do that. it is our responsibility to make sure that our authorities are enabled to do their job with consistency with the law. we can do both of these things. edward snowden, by revealing that kind of information, has substantially weakened this country against the direct enemies of this country. it is a direct violation of the laws of espionage of this country. he ought to come back and not be a coward and hang around in
russia with people who are not really in favor of the success of this country. he should return to this country and make his case before a jury of his peers. people have done civil disobedience for years and years in this country. martin luther king did civil disobedience. they come back and they face the music and face the justice and they make their case not only to the court, but to the people. edward snowden has not done that, and that is why he is not only a traitor in my judgment, he is also a coward. >> we got to wrap this up. that's have a show of hands in the room. who thinks they are safer here today because of the data the nsa has collected? show of hands. governor, this is one of your hometown crowds. has something changed? do we need to bring dick cheney back up here? >> the key difference is that there's a tendency here, and bruce is guilty of this of trying to make this black and white.
it is a mistake for him to believe that in order to be protective of our civil freedoms and our freedoms as americans we must sacrifice the security of this nation. that is not true. i tell you there is danger ahead, substantial danger that is coming. the fact is that we have to put ourselves in a position where we can defend ourselves, consistent with the law and consistent with the values of our nation. we can do these things. we are americans. we can do both. you do not have to rely upon a man who takes it upon himself to make the decisions, that maybe he is smarter than anybody else and he has the ability to betray his trust, but rate the security clearances, lie to his superiors, go to foreign countries, and betray the station. >> i think you have the facts upside down. >> i want to hear what he has to say. >> i want to add an unfortunate realistic reality, and there is a difference between a traitor to our country and a traitor to what they call an enemy of the
administration. let's think about this. i want to add an element. is ted cruz viewed as an enemy right now to many people? patriots all across the country are being targeted by the irs, and i want to reinforce this, because of their police. there are congressional hearings because of that. in the same sentence are we going to say it is ok that we can spy on other enemies? is the enemy being redefined right now by this government? conservatives are under attack, and me to understand that it sounds really good, with all possible due respect, that we are going to target our enemies, foreign and domestic, and prevent terrorism, but in a culture where what you believe it is under attack, especially by this administration with a very -- we need to be very careful using that rhetoric. >> what governor gilmore does not understand is that the fourth amendment stands for the proper issue that we test risks -- we take risks that other countries do not take.
thomas jefferson said when government fears the people, you get liberty. when people for the government, you have tyranny. that is what it means to be an american. it is the object in the republic for the people to censor the government, the government does not censor the people, and as regards who speaks for the american people? it was the intelligence committee who said the american people are too stupid to know what safety measures are required. that is why we cannot tell them what we're doing out there. when edward snowden revealed what was going on from the american people rally behind his concept of what the law means, not the intelligence community and mr. gilmore's. >> you know, john, i have been a trial defense lawyer. i have made motions of the fourth amendment which i have won behalf of clients. i have been an elected prosecutor. i have been the attorney general
of virginia. i think i understand better than any body with the fourth amendment is about and how it works. "i lie"? i do not think so. the fact is -- i lead the free congress foundation, and we have a program in which we address these issues. we circulated a letter, charlie. we were the ones that circulated the letter in the foundation that complained about the internal revenue service targeting existing conservative organizations. you're just not informed about what we are doing. but the fact is this, and this is very important -- this is very important -- you cannot disarm this country at a time of maximum challenge to this nation. the fact is we have dual
challenge in this country. we have people who are nation states who are operating against us with very sophisticated intelligence services. we also have people that are not connected to any state at all, like al qaeda, who are working very hard to create the undermining of our nation. under the new battles that are going on in fourth generation warfare in the 21st century, you can attack the economy of this country, and civilians, and try to undermine people's faith in democracy. that is the confrontation that is ahead of us. we as conservatives have an obligation to make sure that we do both of these things. and that we do not set one against the other. we do not set the freedoms of the nations against the security of this nation. that is not the direction in
which we must go. we have to do both and that has been my record. that is the record of the free congress foundation and american opportunity, and that is what we must do. >> i want to go to charlie for a second. this story goes back to 1993. it turns out they had a human asset directly attached to osama bin laden and finding out very early on that he intended to finance. we rely on technology today. are you worried we do not do enough of the old-fashioned intelligence? human intelligence? >> there has been this increase in trying to use supercomputers and technology to collect everything that we can in a more substantive, traditional manner. we could use the technology we have to the best of the ability that still respect fourth amendment rights and understand
we have to be increasingly hesitant of the growth of government. >> he managed to human assets when you were an intelligence officer. are you worried we are relying too much on technology? >> we have to use all of the above. human intelligence is not as simple as going on the streets but it is quite in links and hard job. sometimes it is not the most savory job, i must say. today in the modern world, you have the opportunity today with modern technology to my this is a modern technology world. this is a place where we are all connect it and we have the opportunity to have communications. this is a chance to utilize the weaknesses that our enemies have to use in order to communicate. this is a chance for us to do something like that. it is consistent with our values and liberties, consistent with our freedoms and we could do so. the point is, john, and audience, we do not dismantle united states defenses.
we do not open ourselves up to attacks by people i assure you want to attack us. you do not open ourselves up to that. you reform this and you make sure that we stay consistent with the law and you have proper oversight and you demand that people do not conduct oversight that they are subject to the penalties of criminal law. we have to make sure that we have true oversight by the congress, by people who are exposed to this and people we can hold accountable for oversight. that is what we have to do. it must be our mission. this is not the answer the united states. i don't care what you say. it will not be the answer. the answer will be a mature, reasonable approach where you preserve the information, empower people to protect our citizens and of the same time protect our liberties and our values and you can do that through the law and through a democratic process. >> it got some great questions coming in from the audience.
tell me a little about the lawsuit was senator rand paul is going to go. where will the courts come down on this in your estimation? >> the supreme court will find what the nsa is doing is unconstitutional and the government is relying on their key case concerns a few weeks collecting of phone numbers dialed by a criminal suspect who was allegedly harassing someone who they had plundered earlier and they have taken that one case regarding a register with the numbers dialed targeting a suspected criminal to justify collecting metadata on every single american forever with no suspicion of any wrongdoing and i think that is too far. five justices of the supreme court in 2012 indicated they were inclined to being open to re-examining this precedent and that is ultimately where we are going in but i want to
underscore in the jurisprudence and all of these areas, public opinion, our values as a culture are very important. your votes about what congress should do, state legislatures, privacy is critical to what the u.s. supreme court will be doing and that is why your condemnation of the nsa, writing and to make sure you give remedial legislation is very important. the last thing i want to observe that governor gilmore does not understand is our greatest national asset in defenses the loyalty and patriotism of its citizens who love their government because the government does not treat them as potential terrorists without cause. when the government believes all of us are traitors.
the greatest danger is they will lose the loyalty of the american people. >> nonsense. the fact is that nobody thinks that the average american out there is unpatriotic. if you have a system in which you actually focus on the enemies of this nation and you determine what they are trying to do to get at us and what we have to do in order to uncover those investigative propositions and investigative methods, then this is an appropriate thing. to blow this up and suggest there is some suggestion that all of us are under scrutiny or all of us are being suspected as potential traitors, that is nonsense demagoguery and it is not helpful to a discussion that we, as conservatives, have to
have to find out how you protect this nation and protect the defenses of this nation for ourselves, for our children, for the well-being of our people and at the same time protect our values and civil freedoms. these are the choices we have to face. >> governor, they are collecting metadata on every call you have made since may 2006 in perpetuity. why are they doing that if they do not suspect you of wrongdoing? >> they want to be in a position to find out who the bad guys are talking to. not to you, not to you, not to me, but we have to find out what people are doing and that is the approach they are taking. you can have perfectly reasonable ways of controlling this and having proper oversight. the alternative is we're going to end up with more attacks like we saw at the boston marathon and there will be calls for a greater security state and authoritarianism responses. frankly, demagoguery is not helpful. it slows the ability to get to
the goals of we need to achieve. >> we heard a lot about oversight. you think congress has done a good job overseeing this program? >> not at all. >> i want to respond to one thing. i hesitate to use the words "bad guys," because we are viewed as bad guys right now in this government. we are. think about it. all the nsa has to do is just watch the phone calls made from cpac and the irs would have their audit schedule for the next five years. i say that kind of facetiously but we are in a very unique culture are these branches of government are being weaponize to against us and the history of western democracy shows when the government continues to do this
and target people that are dissident against the government, we for the activists of limited government will soon be the targets and we have to be very careful. >> i love this thing called twitter. some people want to know if you are available to date. i don't not that's relevant but good luck to you on that front. >> i see a question here that i really like. if the courts are going to intervene in congress is going to get involved, is there a new middle spot that we can find here? is there a place where we can collect some data that you would be comfortable with? you feel we have enough to go after the bad guys? >> provides the justification for gathering data when there is probable cause to believe you are an agent of a foreign government. this is how we did it for hundreds of years prior to the modern efforts to try to create a surveillance state. it has been utilized to prosecute cases and most of the prosecutions, not all, post-9/11 have been tried in criminal
courts with probable cause standard utilized to gather information and search warrant's. i think that demonstrates that we do not need the extraordinary measures in order to be safe and have the rule of law prevail. it does not mean that there will never be another incident again. people say the laws did not work prior to 9/11 so we could not use them but that's like saying the laws against murder don't work because we have 17,000 murders each year yet we still : it is not a criticism of the rule of law that laws against terrorism occasionally may be violated like any other law. >> are you open to changes, governor? >> there is nothing law wrong with can directing assessment of any authority in determining whether they had gone too far.
as i said in my opening statement, 10 years ago, i condemned the concept of awareness because i was suspicious of how it could be misused in the future. fact is that we can, in fact, have an appropriate rule and regulation, oversight, to make sure that we do not disarm this country. by the way, bad guys, i know you picked up on that and gave me a little slapping around because i said that, but what we really mean here are people who are agents of foreign countries who may have at some point in dr. war with us and that could still happen. the realistic world that we live in that people unconnected to states who are part of international organizations, whether they are drug organizations that are so often used in this country or whether they are people who are, in fact, agents of international terror organizations who want to do away with all states, these are the types of people we have to be prepared to meet in the 21st century. as americans, we will be prepared to do it. not because we think some view that we are all paranoid. we're americans. we are conservatives.
we don't need to be afraid of anything. we can set the rules down an appropriate way and demand that they be followed, that there is proper oversight and protect this nation as well. >> how old were you when 9/11 occurred? >> i was in first or second grade. >> are you worried that in the passage of time that people become complacent and forget the horrors we experienced that day? as we move along, some of what we see in the audience is just euphoric reaction and with another attack the pendulum could swing back? >> 9/11 woke up a lot of people. she said 9/11 was one of the reason she got into politics and it's kind of an example. the majority of younger people don't need to know the sacrifices -- and they don't even know the sacrifice of the greatest generation of world war ii.
absolutely we forget and that is unfortunately the pendulum of history and that is the way that things go. it is unfortunate the only way to truly correct that is education and connecting with these people who gave the ultimate sacrifice. >> with regards to all of these particular agents of terrorist organizations and foreign governments that governor gilmore mentioned, they have been subject to search and surveillance under laws for 20 something years. there is nothing that i've said that would serve those authorities based on probable cause to believe you're acting as an aid to foreign government. it is not an argument to just throw the word demagogue around. your repeated reference to demagoguery is not necessary to discuss what we are debating. >> i want to get to a couple of quick questions. >> we have an obligation to
understand the difference between legitimate concerns about paranoia, and demagoguery and we have to be prepared to accept the reasonable concerns that we have with respect to a surveillance state. i was governor during the 9/11 attack. i was chairman of the national commission on homeland security and i was a person who in writing resistivity surveillance state and said that we should not go and give up our values in order, in the name of some type of total security, i'm on the record having said that. there's a danger when you have a rand paul who says, a traitor like edward snowden should get a slap on the restaurant the father who says perhaps we should have amnesty or the new york times who says perhaps we should have amnesty. this undermines the legitimate trust that we place and people
who have an obligation to meet those dedications to the security of this nation. that is violated and a person should stand before the bar of justice and allowing a lawyer to defend him and make his case and let a jury of his peers decide what is right and what is wrong. that's the way we do things. >> we have run out of time here and i want to thank you all for an impassioned and intellectual debate and if you stick around, the audience will want to talk to you some more. thank you again today. thank you for your time. [captions copyright national a panel of activists discuss the potential benefits of reducing populations. texas governor rick perry outlines his state's efforts the use of drug courts has driven down the number of n nonviolent offenders in texas. reid wholowed by ralph calls for the impeachment of attorney general eric holder. just under an hour.
>> ladies and gentlemen, please the me the director of center for criminal justice of t union rican conservative foundation. >> good morning. i think you are going to find interestingthe most panels at cpac on criminal justice reform. distinguished panel. first the 47th governor of texas perry. of the e president americans for tax reform, grover norquist. third, former new york p.d.
carrick.ner bernard the e going to discuss growing consensus among onservatives that our criminal justice system is broken and in need of major repair. in need o. crimes, topansion of the height reset a schism rate of 40% to the cost of our prison conservatives concluded that our system is out of control. think of the resources wasted on a witchhunt against scooter libb he and ted stevens. it was not until after he had
been defeated for reelection and .as replaced think of the swat team that rated gibson guitars. why did they need a an armed team to raid a business? who knew fish or wildlife had a think of the widening net for crimes in which we incarcerate people. transpose numbers on the epa. inadvertently mislabeling a shipment of orchids. there has been an alarming increase in the scope and authority of government. you would think a agents would have enough trying to catch
terrorists and murderers and drug kingpins. lock people up. there are dangerous people that should be segregated from society. the bureaucrats have overdone it. over 2 million americans are behind bars. that is one out of every 100 adult americans. fewer than half are in for violent crimes. post are serving drug offenses. that is wasteful. prisons are for people we are afraid of. we are filling them with people we are just mad at. i got to work with chuck colson. he was a prison reformer. he summed it up pretty succinctly. an a nation that is rich stupid would put billions into a system that leaves prisoners
andformed, victims ignored, communities living in fear of crime. conservative leaders have taken the lead in trying to bring about reform. the effort started in texas. prison population was going to require three new prisons. this took money away from roads and schools. policyas public foundation develop solutions based on conservative principles. they met the needs of victims and offered opportunities for inmates to turn their lives around. their top priority was to keep the public safe while bringing prison costs down. witheforms were passed bipartisan support. governor perry signed them. the results are impressive. .nmate population has decreased
there are no new plans to build new prisons. texas $3ms have saved billion. the crime rate is now the lowest it has been since 1968. [applause] panel over here. if you have questions for us, tweet us. #nolanpanel the governor will be right back. >> he walked out of me. >> i just wanted to make another entry.
we were talking about programs we did put in place. i had a more expanded list. think that what we have done in the state of texas can be a model. states need to be laboratories of innovation. they are going to be some states the put programs in place. i will give you a good example. jindal in louisiana was involved in creating a seminary program in angola. it was the meanest resins of all time. bobby was engaged in getting the seminary started. inhas made a huge difference that population over there.
ofis a faith-based way affecting people in a house of way. i'm not going to say that it is for everyone and everybody should do that. it.ook it and appropriated we appropriate good ideas from each other. i think it is important for all governors to understand that concept. it is the laboratory of innovation that occurs in the states. if you see something in louisiana, we took it to the department of criminal justice and implemented it. now it is a very prospering program. there is southwestern seminary.
concept.rivate sector --inity degrees are being divinity degrees are being bestowed. those individuals go to other prisons. it is a powerful program. it is making a big difference. i am not saying it is for everyone in every state. concepts thathose is making a difference. you have made use of drug courts. with all the money you saved, you are able to put some of that money into treatment. most prisons asked in a get treatment. treatment.0% get
in texas, every single one has treatment available. was started in 2000. i want to say 2003. i'm sure some he will fact check me on that. it is been a decade. this was a democrat district judge in dallas texas who came and sat with us and talked about the initial drug court concept. it made sense. we have implemented and it has worked very well. i hope people across the country -- there are not many things that the president of united states and his attorney general and i agree about.
president obama and attorney general holder pointed to texas and what we are doing with our drug courts. rate in the state of texas is as low as it has been since 1967. we have prisons. isifornia's prison capacity at 180%. in texas it is 96%. we set a prison down last year. that is the message across the country. you want to talk about real conservative governance? shut prisons down. save that money.
that is what can happen with these drug courts. they use the different tools. power toudges the decide. hope we will talk about mandatory sentencing guidelines. this is a really bad concept. texas is a tough on crime state. i don't think anybody gets confused. somebody,t to murder texas will not be the place you want to go do that. we are not soft on crime. i would get a reputation for being a smart on crime state. this is important. expect a not
discussion about criminal justice reform and prison reform . this is a big problem. it is an expensive problem. it creates more expensive problems. conservatives can fix this. our friends on the left have zero credibility when it comes to focusing on reducing criminal activity and punishing people who deserve to be punished. this is not a moderate liberal thing where we should be. this is getting to punishing real criminals. are keeping the cost down so we don't have to loot the american taxpayers to fill prisons.
if you leave them in prison long enough, you get additional problems. this is about fighting crime smartly. there is a group i want to take a look at. barry -- they are center-right political leaders. if these ideas had not started in texas, it would be harder to sell them. it could be a really good idea. the number of states that have passed progress along the lines , these areking about not blue states. i walked in and said i have a good idea and they do this in vermont. they would laugh at you. right cang from the
seriously criminal justice .eform people whose lives are damaged because the bad guys are not in prison because we were dealing with people who did not need to be in prison. about a conservative initiative. these are ideas that have worked in texas. this is federalism at its best. it. you take why did they not do that to vermont first? the right ona of
crime, smart on crime reforms are coming state-by-state. if something is not working, i want to find out about it in arizona. the number of states was just added to last night. the mississippi senate passed in a series of reforms. the texas model is now being used in the other states. the laboratory of the 50 states has shown that it works. we have a person here who is the most unique point of view on prison. he ran the largest prison in the united states, rikers island. then he became an nypd commissioner.
he was commissioner on 9/11. he is an american hero. targeted by the left. was in theman present and spent three years in custody. he has the perspective now of .hat lee's share with us your observation. , ai have been a cop correctional officer, a detective thomas drug agent. ran the nypd. i was nominated for homeland security. i would to prison for three years. i have been in this business for 30 years. dedicated. i know the job.
i know the system. i know what it is supposed to accomplish. i know it is broken. men that id with believed did really bad things. people would tell me i have 10 years. people would tell me i've got 15. i am in my 19th year. ais is for a first time nonviolent drug offense. a young man with five grams of cocaine gets 10 years. i was in prison with a man that sold a wales tooth on ebay. he went to federal prison for selling a wales tooth on ebay. fishermen caught too many fish.
i put people in prison. i put them there for a long time. these were bad man who did bad things. they try to kill me. they killed my partners. i seized tons of cocaine from them. then i go to prison and i am housed with men that are therefore first time nonviolent nonsense offenses. did i do something wrong? maybe. did they do something wrong? maybe. we are putting people in prison for regulatory and it been a straight of issues. they do not need prison. if some he told me i would meet good people, i would have laughed in their face. i met some really good men.
decent men. good family men. they made a mistake. some of them did not even know what they did. they went to prison. they went to prison because the system is broken. there are people who belong in prison. i have to compliment the governor. texas started the change in this country. the rest of the country should follow. it texas realized it's unsustainable economically. you cannot continue down this road. all the states of the following texas and will continue to follow texas because they have to pay for their budgets. they have to pay for those people going to prison. the federal government prints money. where is the biggest harm in the federal government? the mandatory minimums.
we have to create alternatives and we have to stop putting that don't have to be there to know their mistake. i was sentenced to three years. i know many were sentenced to a year and a day. it is not really a year and a day. it is a life sentence. i knew a 19-year-old young man. a military man. he sold night vision goggles on ebay. he went to prison for three years. if that guy lives to be 110 years old, he is going to be a convicted felon and it will have his entiren him for financial future. anything he wants to do with his family. there is a list.
they have a list of 50,000 different things that come from that label of being a convicted felon. you have to do something to change that. you can't punish some before life for making a mistake. more times than i can count. this country that has constitution, as is broken. the punishment does not fit the crime. [applause] realize that when i was in the legislature.
i presumed people prosecuting crimes were the good guys. a lot of them are. most of them are. there is also a bureaucracy. understand, the people doing time for these small amounts. these heavyors have sentences. only seven percent of the people they prosecute our four major dealers. most of them are the small fry. why pick on these first-time offenders? taking on a big kingpin means you are threatened. a lot of bureaucrats afraid. they go after the numbers of
small people. that is not getting cocaine off the street. score. run up there one of the things we need to realize is this is not just program.overnment we should be as suspicious of the departments of correction and their spending as we are the department of transportation and the department of health. this is a scarlet letter for life. felons fromprohibit cutting hair. one of the things you learn inside prison is to cut hair. they are prohibited from cutting hair. why on earth would we prevent them from that? most won't ever be able to work in a school question could they not be a gardener?
why would be prohibitive for working in a school or a hospital? these are impediments we put in their way. part of the conservative effort needs to be looking at these things and saying the bureaucracy should not be stopping these people. it should be protecting the public. the workers who are in competition. you have gone to all of these states. an apostle of this. i hope you'll go by the booth. can you tell us right on crime? >> we had great leadership from the texas policy foundation. i ran into it with a little working group.
we did not have broader conservative movements. it took me aasons couple of years, this was the one person in the room of 10 who had not been to prison or had a family member in prison. the others had learned that there was this problem. i used to visit prisons for my was in college. it is not the same thing. they let you out at the end of the day. begun torvatives have say a couple of things. th [applause] clear on the government should not do these things. however, having armed forces to keep the canadians on their side of the border, that is written
down. aisons to punish bad guys and judicial system to enforce the law and properly right contracts. that's in the constitution. that's a legitimate function of government. we need toes -- spend as much time thinking how we do the stuff government should do intelligently and less expensively and better than any other country or any other state in the world. that is as important as making sure of the things the government should stop doing. it's a more mature conservative movement to say that we are ready to start governing as well as cutting it back. getting it smaller is important. but even the list of things that are mentioned in the constitution that are legitimate functions of a reasonable list itself can
be done more intelligently and less expensively and controlled by people. leader looking at the disaster of world war i said war is too important to leave to the generals. the judicial system is too important to leave to the prosecutors. you need to get more involved and not have one set of people set the rules to make risen .uards' life easier not to have less recidivism and other things. we needed to focus on running prisons right and the judicial system right and the military right while saying that the government ought not to do these things of all. i have a request for them. i'm a techno-klutz. i can't see what the questions are coming from the audience. perry, you came up with --olution
>> the texas aggies going to fix it. [laughter] we are offering solutions. it seems the republicans governors association would be a great forum to share this and have them according to campaign --und the country >> i was reading more of the retweets from those going on social media that rick santorum is outside having a good event out there. [laughter] your wife says to bring back the milk. [laughter] he asked about the republican
governors association and the interaction between governors. we do that. that there are other organizations out there, the democratic governors interacting -- we are not that siloed. we do compete with each other. it makes people uncomfortable. competition is uncomfortable. when i show up in maryland with some tv ads that are talking all have and you wouldn't it be rise for most of you to move to texas so you don't have to pay those outrageous taxes? the governor of those states sometimes get a little bit peeved. but that's ok. it's not personal. this is about having an open conversation. people should be able to pick
and choose the place they want to live, whether it is economic issues or social issues. the most comfortable ones. that's the beauty of these laboratories of innovation. we do look at best practices and economic best practices and educational best practice and criminal justice best practices and the republican governors association share those. i want to go back to the president of the united states and the attorney general. both recognizing that what we have done in texas -- i know this is probably hard for him to the minimum sentencing .uidelines are wrong they are not working. there is a place that has implement it some programs that are making a difference in people's lives economically, making sense. recidivism rise is making sense. --ting people's lives back
if we are going to be honest citizens of this great country, teeny able to give people a second chance -- being able to give people a second chance is really important. we are not perfect. towards perfection everyday. we hope someday to obtain it, but probably won't. the fact is, that should be our goal. up idea that we lock people and throw them way and never give them a chance at redemption is not what america's about. i hope that's truly what the conservative cause in america is all about. [applause] congress aboutin suggesting that they think through mandatory minimums and
have a list of what they were. it there was a list of things that had been in the headlines and a politician wanted to have orress conference, raising establishing a mandatory minimum saying, i am against carjacking. treason has a minimum of five years. were way other crimes out there. just outrageous. it was clearly proven by somebody's need to get a headline one day and relive with s later.ade's le there are families against , speakingminimums specifically to that issue at the federal and state level. there are a couple of bills before congress right now, you can find out at the justice fellowship site or write on
crime -- >> all the good guys on our team are taking the lead on this. there is a problem. you can't let the left once again identify correctly a problem and then stick on top of it a solution that makes it worse. we have to wrestle with the problem and come up with a solution consistent with conservative principles. >> if any of you want to contact me about the acu involvement in criminal justice, e-mailing. secondernor mentioned chances. as ais something that, christian, i firmly believe in. even non-christians believe in giving people a second chance. have seen the people that have tremendous potential. but because of the felony conviction, they are held back. tell us about your thoughts on second chances.
kid getsear-old arrested in baltimore. for minimal possession of cocaine. he is tied into a conspiracy. he gets 10 years. he is sent to prison for 10 years and he does a .5. during that time in federal prison, he really gets no , no life improvement skills, no tools necessary to be a better person when he gets on the outside because he gets no education. he is sent to prison for 10 8.5. and he does he learns to steal. it's a training ground for criminality. you put this kid in prison and years andor a . 8.5
is and we believe he is going to go back to society a better person. and i wouldlass talk to these on men and say, listen, you have to get your ged. you have to get education. you have to pay attention. that same young man looked at me and said, i am black. i'm a convicted felon. that ged is not going to help me ever. you know what? i know men right now who went to prison on minor white-collar offenses that have doctorates. they have masters degrees. they have bachelors degrees. they can't find work. they can't get hired. if they can't get hired, do you is everat young man going to get hired? never. the problem with that is, there
are thousands of them in prison. is that really what we want for society? you want to take all the societal values out of a person have and infuse them with institutional values? and then let them go back to society. it is wrong. it is wrong for this country, wrong for this party. if there is ever a time that this stuff can get fixed, this is the time. i will say it one last time. if texas can do it, the entire country can do it. [laughter] [applause] your remarks -- thank you for your service, sir.
thank you for giving back so much to this country. ofust want to, for the sake some governor somewhere who will see this, over the course of just this last legislative session, i want to go over a number -- we had a very successful session. i signed into law, requiring our prison system to provide vocational programs to inmates based on the texas job market and what we were going to need when individuals would be able to get out. requiring inmates to be given more information so that they would have professional licensing information and restrictions before they enrolled in a vocational program. liabilityve limited
to employers that hire former inmates. that is a very powerful message. people say, oh, you've been to prison. to see that piece of legislation , here is the protection that you need from a limited liability standpoint. i prison entrepreneurship program that was organized by a houston nonprofit and baylor university to issue certificates in entrepreneurship when they completed this program. prisonsose prisons -- are going to be used as a training ground. one way or the other. whether you will train them to criminals ord train them to be entrepreneurs. the choice is ours. neighbors.l be our
95% of the prisoners will be released sunday. wouldn't it be better if they had skills to have a job and to be a good parent? to be a good citizen. there is no lawyer up in pennsylvania -- he was a member --the federal reserve board over half of his employees at his plant rx offenders. are exis plant offenders. he said because jesus told us to. he found is that they are the best employees because they are so grateful. he's careful who he chooses. but they look out for each other. they keep each other on the straight and narrow. over 50% of his employees now are asked offenders because they offenders ex
because they show up and recruit each other from the good guys inside. they know who the good guys are. this is one businessman doing it. he said not only is it a moral decision, it's a good business decision. if you have a company, think bout hiring ex offenders. put them with a chaplain to see how they are. but then with some club or church that you are in. give them that second chance. we are coming to the end of the time. i will tell you, eli wrote for the weekly standard that this effort of conservatives taking arguably the most significant social reform movement from the right in decades. it is. this is our chance to show that we can provide solutions to a
vexing problem and show that they work. we invite you to be part of it. it's exciting. we're making the community better by applying conservative principles. >> let me wrap up my part by , asng, our goal and our job governors or legislators, is to create a climate in which investors can create jobs. this country does not have the jobs available, whether it is our veterans coming back or inmates that are being released gottenciety, we have not to the real heart of this issue. my plea for the folks in washington -- my plea specifically for the president of the united states is to open up the xl pipeline and open up
our federal lands so there is jobs being created and using the resources we have in this country. but tax policy into place that basically gives incentives to people to move their manufacturing back to the nine states. if the president really cares about these individuals, whether they are veterans or inmates or young men and women going into the workforce -- >> this is the way to do it. >> create a climate in america where the entrepreneur knows that he or she can risk their capital and have a chance to have a return on that investment . then the american dream truly becomes available for all. give them a second chance. [applause] >> thank you all very much. thank you panelists.
>> ladies and gentlemen, please welcome ralph reed. >> good morning, cpac. are you having a good cpac? it's great to be with you this morning as we celebrate not only the conservative movement but we celebrate america and what made this country great. my friends, make no mistake about it. what made this country great, what still makes it exceptional and unique today is the fact that the pioneers who were fired by spain and founded this nation crossed oceans, braved dangers
and settled a continent to build a nation that honored almighty god. today, the greatness of the nation that they built is in grave danger. it is in grave danger in no small measure because our freedom as americans to practice our religious beliefs and to express our faith in god is under assault as never before. there is in truth a war on religion and a war on religious values. being waged by this administration and by their radical allies. a war that goes between a stubborn, secular insensitivity outat times, all
hostility to those in the faith. unless you think that is hyperbole -- let me point out that two years ago, this administration sued an evangelical lutheran church that had dismissed a minister and a teacher and actually argued in federal court that no church in america has a right to hire and fire its own ministers. this astonishing argument was so morally and legally repugnant that the supreme court ruled against the obama administration 9-0, including both justices appointed by the president. [applause] week, left wing bullies force to the defeat of a religious freedom bill that did nothing other than allow people of faith, standing in court, do
defend themselves when they are forced to violate their deeply held religious police. here in maryland, not far from where we are gathered right now, this administration is attempting to force an order of catholic nuns who care for the elderly and for the poor to pay for health care services that violate their religious teachings and assault their conscience, including taking the lives of the innocent unborn. now, thisna, right administration is trying to block the right of minority toldren to receive state aid attend either a religious or a charter school where they are safe and where they can learn. 50 years ago, george wa
llace said that african-american students could not come in. today, the obama administration stands in that same schoolhouse door and refuses to let those children leave. it was wrong then and it's wrong now. obama, butresident those children go. [applause] , in a brazen act of lawlessness, the attorney ,eneral of the united states speaking to the association of state attorneys general, him not tounseled defend their state's marriage statute. why? because he did not agree with those laws. the chief lawen enforcement officer of the united states shows no respect
whatsoever for the rule of law and shows no respect whatsoever for the state constitutions and the duly passed laws of sovereign states, particularly when that same attorney general has lied under notes and congress -- lied under oath in congress and has been found in contempt of congress, i say that is an impeachable offense and is time for eric holder to go. [applause] but that's not all. irs,e scandal plagued while senior officials take the fifth amendment, that agency is thatpting to enforce rules would deny our first amendment right and shred the constitution of the united states.
these rules would outlaw voter registration drives in many churches, prevent the distribution of nonpartisan voter guides in proximity to a primary election and, believe it or not, these rules would even prevent the posting of the voting records of elected officials on websites. there has been a torrent of protest against these regulations over 140,000 comments filed, demanding that these regulations be withdrawn. but more than just amending that the regulations be with drawn, we call on this administration to fire those responsible and prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law and fumigate that building and abolish the irs once and for all. [applause]
none of this is terribly surprising. from an administration that has been led by a man who once said the american people "cling to guns and religion" because they have antipathy in their hearts for people different from themselves. ort's equally disappointing more disappointing is that this radical secular agenda and this war on religion is, at times, aided and abetted by republicans who lack the courage to stand and fight. [applause] all, last week in ohio, georgia and arizona, it was republican legislative leaders who caved under pressure from the liberal media and the lies of the radical left and killed releases -- killed religious freedom bills that were modeled
after the federal religious freedom restoration act passed by a bipartisan congress and signed into law by bill clinton. i have a message for these d cowardice who show the backbone of the chocolate eclair. we are done following those who advocate mushy moderation. we are no longer going to follow the counsel of those who offered compromise.e who counsel only the suggestion of surrender. we will not follow lukewarm so-called leaders anymore who's is to seek the approval
of those who sure none of our core values. we will not follow them any longer. [applause] from now on, we are going to 2014-2016 and beyond, nothing but unapologetic conservatives that defend the principles upon which this nation was founded, including the biblical principles of freedom of religion, the sacred institution of marriage and the sanctity of life. [applause] , may ithour of testing be our finest hour as conservatives. , this save this nation last best hope of mankind and give them the country they
it's an extension, maybe it's called a stop-gap. but the fact is, it ducks the big issues. it repeatedly ducks the big issues. and particularly on medicare, when you have 10,000 people eligible for medicare every day, there is a very real cost attached with that. so now the challenge is to try to find a way to move beyond this fixation on budgeting. it would be one thing if it was sound budget policy, but so often as i've indicated we don't get at the structural kinds of issues and move beyond the sort of lurch from one kind of budget calamity to another and come up with some sensible budget policy. >> this weekend on c-span, senate finance committee chairman ron widen on the challenges facing medicare and hospitals. on book trn v, the hit torquele
i am reminded this morning of words that speak to the american soul. words spoken by thomas jefferson, who said "a little rebellion now and then is a good thing." our country is in peril. our deficit is at a record amount. our economy, the economic recovery is stagnant. our place in the world is weakened. so i have a simple solution. it is time for a little rebellion on the battlefield of ideas. [cheers and applause] instead of looking to washington to find the front lines of the battle, i ask you to look to the states. where we find the laboratories of innovation. 50 different experiments in