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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  January 16, 2015 5:00am-7:01am EST

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't take our eye off the ball, and the ball is asia. that's where north korea gets its primarily access to the international financial system. that's, as we devise strategies to try to put pressure on north korea. >> they're spending some of that money in this hemisphere. they purchased weapons from cuba. >> and we responded -- >> i don't castro just gave them the weapons. >> right. and that's -- again, that's why we look at the primary arms dealing we targeted. we're trying to go after the arm dealers, trying to go after the financial networks that support the arms dealers. so what we are trying to do is make it more difficult if not impossible, but certainly to disrupt and dismantle their ability to move these function -- funds around the world and
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ultimately repatriate and use those funds. >> i'm going to re-claim my time, because i think you're aware of it -- >> the gentleman's time has expired. thank you, mr. duncan. mr. lowenthal is recognized. >> i think to ambassador kim you've already indicated that we're beginning to see indications that china too has grown weary of north korean aggression. i think you have answered that. i would like to know, there anything else you can add to the evolving relationship between the people's republic of china and pyongyang, and specifically also what i'm interested in, as we go forward, how is the united
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states engaging people's republic of china in our common interests in a more stable korea? what specifically are we doing as we go forward? >> thank you very much congressman. i think in terms of evolving relations between beijing and pyongyang, to me it's clear that chinese are thinking much more seriously about the north korean policy, and beginning to realize when north korea misbehaves, it hurts china's own interest . china's own interests are harmed when they misbehave. i think that affects the chinese approach and affects their cooperation with us. one obvious example is if you look at the interaction between the leadership of china, south korea, north korea, xi jinping and park have had communal indications.
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-- numerous meetings in the first years of their relationship. and a number of interactions as well. zero interaction between xi jinping and kim jong-un. i think that says quite a bit about their relations. i think we want to continue to work with china so they work more effective, cooperate better with us. in terms of preventing north korea from taking provocative actions, and also in terms of working towards a credible return to negotiations. we haven't given up on negotiation. we do want to try to resolved the nuclear issue, and i think the chinese have a clear stake in that. for one thing they chaired the six-party process. so this is a prominent topic at
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all levels. president obama talks about it with president xi at every meeting. and this is an effort that we will continue to take seriously. >> thank you. my next question is to the general. you've indicated that you're fairly satisfied that it really was the north koreans in terms of the sony cyberattack, even though you're not able to discuss with us some of the potential classified information. recently, fbi director james commiemey, in responding to some of the same issues, has urged the intelligence community to declassify more details of the evidence to counter some of these skeptics.
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can any of you -- can you specifically talk to us about the status of declassification and what those discussions are? and will we be able to see some of this information? >> thank you very much for the question, sir. regarding that particular effort, i am not part of that classification, but overall our position has always been information sharing requires as declassification as much as possibility. -- possible. we believe it's important to share information as cryos whole -- as much as possible in the whole community. we are very much in favor of the director's efforts. >> is there a potential fear on the part of the chinese or others that there could be a collapse in the north korean government? >> i think we think about, prepare for all contingencies. i don't think any of us have a magic insight as to what might happen to the north korean government any time soon.
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but the important thing is we cann to coordinate so we are effectively prepared for whatever happens. >> anyone else wishes to -- general? >> the gentleman's time has expired. >> i yield back. >> we're so pleased to recognize mr. ribble, a new member of our committee. >> thank you. i want to thank the panel. you guys have been patient. thanks for being here. mr. glasseser how large is north koreas gdp? >> i'm sorry, i don't have the exact number. relatively small. >> mr. kim, do you know it by any chance? >> no, i don't. >> ok. reports would tell us it's somewhere in the range of 13 to
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20 billion, somewhere in that, does that sound reasonable to you? i want to go back to the line of questioning, given that about 25% of their gdp is agriculture. it's really relatively small. sony pictures's annual revenues is $8 billion. >> so if you remove the amount for agriculture, sony's revenue is about the same size as their gdp. this goes back to the money. ultimately if you can follow the money you can get some sense of what their capabilities actually are. i'm curious again, on the money, where it's coming from. could you talk to us a bit about the use of forced labor in north korea? is that part of where at least the workforce is coming from? >> well, as far as their access to hard currency, there is a bit of legitimate trade that they engage in with a variety of countries.
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they also receive a significant amount of support from china and then of course they engage in a variety of illicit activity to supplement their income. as you point out, they're a very small country. they really only care about the needs of the top echelons of their society, so by engaging in illicit financial activity by engaging in armed sales they can raise hard currency that keeps things comfortable for the small group of people on top. that is why -- that presents us challenges and opportunities. the challenges are, they don't need broad access. when you are dealing with a country say like iran and you look at the sanctions with iran, it was a target-rich environment.
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and the idea, this is a large economy, we need to shut off broad access. we've already -- as i have had the exchange with chairman royce, that has already been accomplished with north korea based on actions we've taken in the past and based on the fact that they self-impose isolation on themselves. so the idea is identifying the nodes that you can put your finger on that really have an impact. foreign trade bank, day dong bank sand points from the -- our points of access from the financial system and how do you work where they get the key points of access, namely china to persuade the chinese it is in their interest -- there has been a lot of questions on why would china work with us? china is not going to do us any favors. they will work for us because it is in their interest that north korea not engage in illicit activities because it is in their interest not to affect their banks.
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we've seen that time and again. that is the challenge and the strategy. it is frustrating because it is difficult but it is something we're committed to for ten years and something we're committed to continuing. >> it is extraordinary frustrating because the economy is so small it is difficult to get it, that is why my question went more on forced labornd human trafficking and the element of revenue that is there because free labor -- could be a large number. him him and are you aware of the north koreans using, in essence, forced labor to do construction or anything? >> sure. north korea is a human rights disaster. and as i've said before, the north korean government bears full responsibility for all of the misery they inflict on their people. i would defer to ambassador kim to get into the details of how
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-- the precise mechanisms of by which they opress their -- they oppress their people. >> ambassador king, would you like to add anything? >> i would just add that we know that it is part of the north korean human rights abuse. we don't know how much that contributes to their gdp but the north korean huan rights record is among the worst if not the worst and that is why we need to pay more attention to this issue and i think what happened in the u.n. context last year is significant, with the commissioner inquiry findings and the overwhelming passage of the human rights resolutions. >> thank you, madam chair. i yield back. >> mr. ribble, there has been some good reporting on the use in forestry and other sectors mining.
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we now go to miss gabbert of hawaii. >> thank you very much. thank you for being here. mr. ambassador, it is good to see you again. as you know and is very apparent to all of my constituents, i come from hawaii which is geographically geographically -- geographically most close to north korea and where people actually monitor and listen when north korea beats its drums and delivers its threats. and when we learn about the nuclear tests and continual increase capabilities by north korea, because it is something that is real for everyday families in hawaii who currently sit within range of north
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korea's missile program. i think it has been unfortunate that we've seen a disconnect in a lot of different ways. some people within our government, others who are so-called experts on north korea who have really been very dismissal on the real threat that exists coming from north korea. so i appreciate that we're having this hearing to kick off this year because it is a threat that we have to take seriously. my first question goes to ambassador kim and mr. glacer with regards to china. clearly china has expressed that it is in their best interest to continue to have stability and it is good to see that they're interested in working with us to deal with the instability that is caused by north korea's cycle of threats and i'm wondering what specific things, what specific targets are you looking for in working with china to deal with north korea?
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>> thank you very much congresswoman. china obviously values stability on the peninsula, but as you suggest, i think they are beginning to realize that north korean misbehavior causes instability in china and that hurts china's interest. we are looking to cooperation with china, one on sanctions enforcement and here we have seen some instances where chinese enforcement has been strengthened considerably. and we want to work with them to make sure the north koreans don't take any provocative action. and over the years we've seen provocative actions and the cyber attack on sony is the latest example but they've had attacks on islands. so we need to prevent them from acting that way. and we need to work with the chinese on how to get back to negotiation on denuclearize is and we need to work with china
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and other parties in the region to try to get this problem under control and work towards lasting, verifiable and complete denuclearization of north korea. >> thank you. do you have anything to add? >> just to go back to your question about the types of targets that we look for, and that we work with the chinese on, i guess you could think about it this way. that there are -- the north koreans have two primary ways to access the international financial system and including japanese, directly think thur banks or working through front companies or individuals who are disguised -- disguise their true employer or origin. and so we would -- we would want to and we do focus on both.
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we work with the chinese on both. we try to share information on both with respect to financial institutions. as i've said before, we've imposed sanctions on the north korean financial institutions that give it access to the financial system. including korea cong sung bank which has a branch in china and that is an issue we raise on a regular basis with the chinese. we've seen there has been an impact in the major chinese banks and they have cut these institutions off. and there are smaller banks in china so there is opportunity for them to gain access, but for the large commercial banks, we know we've had an impact. and with respect to front companies, that is an ongoing challenge. we try to share information with our chinese counterparts on that to take steps to protect their financial system. sometimes they follow up on that and sometimes we are less
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successful on persuading them to follow up on that. >> just real quick. i'm running out of time. on hard currency, you said they had the impact that was intended. the policy in my view wasn't in place long enough to really the have the impact that it could have to force major change within north korea, so i would like to see how this policy will be pursued again and i'm out of time. >> again, for ten years now, we've been trying to isolate north korea from the international financial system. we've had a lot of success in doing that. as i've said before, the problem is that they don't need broad access. they only need a few points of access to gain -- to get what they need. which again presents challenges and opportunities. the challenges are finding the
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points of access and the opportunities are when you do find the points of access you could have a major impact. so certainly the goal -- the overall goal is for north korea to act as a responsible member of the international community and we have not achieved that goal. that is an ongoing effort not based on sanctions but about all of the things ambassador kim talked about. but we're going to continue doing our part of that which is increasing the pressure as much as possible to present as stark a choice on the north korean regime as possible. >> congresswoman, north korea had indicated to the state that they would open negotiations again and that is why the sanctions were lifted. unfortunately it turned out they fibbed and this has been the problem with north korea. we get a little leverage, and then they somehow manage to convince us that they are going to turn over a new leaf and the sanctions are lifted and then after the fact, we find out their full bore again developing towards their nuclear weapons
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programs. and i think the problem at the end of the day, having talked to their foreign minister of propaganda who defected into china, at the end of the day the problem is their number one goal is to get the acbm capability for a nuclear weapon and we should recognize that is what is driving them. and cutting off their access to funds to do that is very much in our national interest. let's go to mr. kirk clausen of florida. >> express my appreciation to all three of you for coming here today and also your service to our country is noted and we're very grateful for what you do. let's drill down a little bit on something mentioned earlier, if you all don't mind, about submarines.
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the research group 38 north recently reported that north korea may have installed vertical missile launch tubes on a submarine. mr. kim, does the administration concur that north korea has installed missile launch tube capabilities on this submarine? does the administration believe that north korea is pursuing a sea-based nuclear strike capability? and what would the consequences of that sort of capability be for the region, for the security of our allies and for the security of the united states? thank you. >> thank you, congressman. i don't have anything offer to specifically confirm the report. but as i said before, we're deeply concerned that north korea is continuing to pursue dangerous capabilities. they are been interested in developing their submarine capabilities so i would not rule anything out. but beyond that, would you be
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happy to arrange a classified briefing for you in which we can provide a fuller briefing of their capabilities at this moment. >> a appreciate the offer. and i think that would be excellent. and with their growing nuclear capability in the region in general, what is that -- does that imply for us and our allies not just for us? >> i think it poses a great threat to our allies and to the u.s. directly and this is why we need to intensify our effort on all aspects we talked about this morning, on sanctions, to try our best to cut off funding for them to use on their dangerous programs, to working with our partners and the broader interest of the community to -- to borrow the congressman's words, so they cannot continue their dangerous programs and get out of the international isolation they've been suffering.
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one of your colleagues mentioned earlier, i believe it was ranking member engel that mentioned the greatest threat the north korean pose is to their own people and i believe that is true. having visited north korea several times myself, i have deep sympathy for the north korean public which has continued to suffer as a result of the leadership's bad decisions. and i think we need to try to work harder so that we're not only dealing with nuclear and missile programs that the north koreans have continued to pursue but to try to improve the situation for the north korean public which has been suffering so badly. >> thank you. bill keating from massachusetts. >> thank you, mr. chairman and i would like to thank our witnesses for their patience and for being here.
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we talked a lot about the international community and how they can affect things. i'm a member also of the cyber security sub-committee and homeland and we realize we have to go further than just our own domestic abilities to influence the situation and we've discussed china a great deal. but let me ask you a question about russia. russia continues to supply oil to pyongyang, and recently there are reports and i think it is for the first time that kim jong-un has favorably acted on an invitation from russia to attend ceremonies in may commemorating the anniversary of world war ii's end and this is one of the first public international visits that he'll do as a supreme leader. if you factor in those issues what is the relationship with russia and north korea and the -- in the opinion of any of the witnesses that would like to
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comment on that? >> thank you, congressman. as you point out, russia has had senior level contact with north korean officials and kim jong-un sent one of his top deputies to moscow. there is some interest of russian investment into north korea. but i'm convinced the russians do remain committed to our shared goal. if you look at the public statements that came out immediately following the senior north korean's visit to moscow, it was all about russia's commitment to the six-party process and the organization and how they would strongly oppose a nuclear test by north korea. so yes, the picture looks mixed, but fundamentally the russians do remain committed to the role of denuclearization. >> do you think there is any possibility that north korea did have some assistance in the sony
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attack or other attacks from experts, not to deny their sole responsibility as the instigator, but into getting expertise they did not have, could that have happened formally or even on the private side of russia in this area? are there any concerns that might have been a factor? >> thanks for that question, sir. frankly, there is -- there is always that possibility. at this point, however, i've not seen any intelligence that indicates that. >> thank you. >> and just lastly, because we did spend a great deal of time talking about china. what other asian communities do you feel could be useful in our efforts to deter this type of cyber activities and what other countries could we get assistance from to align together on this cause? >> well, thank you, sir, for that question. as we've taken a look at it from
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the department of homeland security and our information sharing, we have several different engagement organizations such as the asian pacific emergency response team which we did in fact share information on. the collection of 21 different countries. and we used our international watch and warning network membership and should -- shared information out to over a dozen other countries. this really is something that has impact across many, many different countries. and we have leveraged all of our different partnerships across the international community to share information regarding this incident. >> thank you. i yield back mr. chairman. >> thank you, bill. we go now to dave trot of michigan, a new member of this committee. >> i want to thank the chairman and all of you gentlemen for being here and allowing me to
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ask a few questions this afternoon. first question is to assistant secretary glaser, do you think executive order 13-687 is sufficient to accomplish our goals? >> again, congressman, our goal is for north korea to act as a responsible remember of the international community so certainly that executive order standing alone is not -- is not going to get us there. it is about all of the executive orders, all of the financial tools we have combined with all of the efforts that sung and the state department are engaged in. and even then, it is an incredibly difficult and frustrating issue. but i don't think a single action or a single executive order will get us there, nor have we asserted that it would. >> do you think our actions and executive orders over the past ten years have moved the ball forward or have we lost ground with respect to what we want to accomplish? >> again, it depends on what you are referring to specifically. i think that we have been quite successful in applying financial and economic pressure on north korea.
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>> but you think there are fewer human rights atrocityies or paying heed to the u.n. after ten years or not? >> no. as i said, i don't think we've achieved our goal of them acting responsibly, no. >> so the chairman's bill that passed in last congress with respect to secondary sanctions or do you feel you need more to pursue those sanctions because i think earlier you spoke in -- you said you supported the north korean sanctions enforcement act that the chairman introduced last year, would that be a fair statement? >> no. it is not for me to opine on that legislation at this point. what i can say is that with the new executive order, it gives us flexibility that we haven't had before to target the north korean government and target north korean officials and to target those, and this is to your point, to provide material support to any designated entity that is not an authority we've had before and an authority we'll put to good use. >> and so if this doesn't work as well as we hope, what is plan b.?
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>> plan b. with respect to sanctions? >> what if north korea doesn't change its bad behavior? what is plan b.? >> well, again, there is a broad policy trying to move north korea in the right direction from our perspective, we have a strategy that we've been implementing for many, many years now to try to increasingly isolate north korea from the financial sector. and i think that we have a lot of success that we can show. i think it is one way to bring pressure to bear on precisely the people we need to, which is the decision-makers in north korea because they are the ones that benefit from that. but again, the goal is not to bring financial pressure, the broad goal is not to bring financial pressure, the broad goal is to affect a change in north korean behavior and as you point out, we're not there and it is incredibly frustrating and something we work on every day to try to change. >> thank you. ambassador, is there any expedited effort to review the criteria to designate north korea as a state sponsor of
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terrorism? >> so the criteria is set by law so what we are doing is to evaluate the available intelligence and information to determine whether the north koreans meet that criteria. >> any idea when that will be done? >> it is an ongoing process but i think as soon as we make the determination that there is credible evidence to support identification we will move forward. >> and say we made an egregious error and somehow concluded they were not responsible for the state responsed terrorism, what problems would be created for us? would they stop being as friendly and cooperative as they've been? >> i think it is a fairly straightforward mattner which we are trying to meet -- matter in which we are trying to meet the law, that the secretary of the state has repeatedly provided support for acts of
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international terrorism and we're trying to determine whether north koreans meet that criteria and when we do, we'll move forward. >> any idea when that will be done? >> again, it is an ongoing process. >> and how does south korea view our actions? would they like us to do more? >> they have been very supportive. we have stayed in very close touch with south korea and including japan. they issued a strong condemnation on the attack of sony and expressed strong support to our reactions to the attack. >> thank you. i yield my time. >> we go to mr. tom emmer, a new member of the committee. >> thank you chairman rice and mr. engel for holding this important hearing. i would like to thank the committee staff for their work and the distinguished panel for
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providing us with their analysis. ambassador kim, david albright the president of the institute for science and international security has commented that north korean policy of -- president barack obama's administration has been called quote, strategic patience. and recently the president said in response to the hacking, the sony hacking, that the u.s. would respond, quote proportionally. can you define that for me and comment, if you will, on this strategic patience reference? >> thank you, congressman. strategic patience i think has been misunderstood as our policy. it is not. it was just a description of the
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approach we were taking about resumption of negotiation precisely because of the important lessons we have learned from our previous efforts in negotiating with the north koreans in the six-party process and earlier in the framework of the mid 1990s. we were -- we want to make sure to take a very deliberate, cautious approach in coordination with our partners so that if and when negotiations resume, we would have a much better chance, much more credible chance of actually making some lasting progress on the nuclear issue. so strategic patience referred to that approach. it was not necessarily our policy per se. i mean -- i think that is where we are still, which is to say that we want to make sure that there is adequate preparation and there is demonstration of
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commitment from the north koreans to denuclearization before we return to negotiations. >> mr. ambassador, if i can then take you to the next part of my question. and i understand that the proportional response language was in response to the sony episode. but is the administration now signaling an increase in intensity? >> i think that would be accurate. as secretary glase pointed out the new executive order signed by the president gives us flexibility and broad authority to to go after targets and we will designate more north korean entities and personnel and this will make it difficult for them to introduce their programs. >> there are so many questions and you have been patient for
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all of the people that are here and this is a process for me and i know the time is limited. so if you could give me this. mr. engel talked about the balance of holding the north korean leaders accountable and at the same time being mindful of the oppressed population. can you tell me -- and maybe this is a combination of the ambassador kim and the assistant secretary glaser, but how are you doing that, managing that delicate balance and can you give us a specific example of how the supposed expanded authorities under the recent executive order are being applied? >> well, again, i fail to see how any actions that we've taken through our financial sanctions or other financial measures we've applied to north korea has negatively impacted the korean people as i've said again, this is entirely of the decisions of the government of north korea.
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why we have adopted the approach we have adopted is for a couple of different reasons. one is that in order for -- in order for the government of north korea to maintain itself it needs access to hard currency, it needs access to the international financial system not a lot. but it does need it. so this is -- so when you identify -- >> i got it and the time is running out. so could you give me a specific example of how you are doing that since the executive order? >> well, simultaneous with the executive order, it would -- was announced that we employed the executive order with respect to three north korean entities and ten north korean individuals importantly with respect to those ten individuals, eight of them were employed of komed which is the arms company of north korea.
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one of the impacts of that, at least as its been reported in the press, is two of the individuals, that the government of namibia is considering expelling two of the individuals. now this is an important source of hard currency. conventional armed sales in africa. i'm not doing a victory lap about this, but it is an example -- one example and it is going to be an ongoing effort of how we can and will continue to use that authority. >> thank you very much. >> mr. issa of california. >> thank you, mr. chairman. gentlemen, a couple of questions. you're familiar in the federal national authorization act late last year that it applies now in anyone engaging in these acts.
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>> that is correct. >> and north korea has no independent access to the internet. >> that is correct. >> so they are relying on a single strand of ip that comes from china? >> that is correct. >> and do you know the bandwidth of that? >> i don't know. we can get that you. >> for argument's sake let's say it is what the home with comcast. so as though they were being provided by comcast here in the district of columbia, they have one line coming in from china, is that correct? >> in essence, sir, that is correct. >> so two questions. first of all, do you have high confidence today that north korea participated in the sony espionage or any in the last year. >> based on the evidence
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provided by the intelligence community and the law enforcement community regarding attribution, i have confidence in their conclusion. >> pursuant to the ndaa you have sanctions on that. beyond financial. sanctions are a broader term. >> agreed. >> however, the ndaa said provide sanctions against anyone supporting or engaging -- wouldn't it inheritently saying the only way they had to do this was by a route provided by the people's republic of china -- i'm sorry, main land china china itself, has in fact supported espionage, reasonable assertion by the american people. couldn't have done it without china, china gives them the life line and china monitors all of its internet transactions and it doesn't have a true open internet per se, china had to
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know what you know, isn't that correct? >> at this point, sir -- and thank you for that question -- i do not know what china knew at the time. >> do they know now? have we directed to them the knowledge that we have sufficient so they know that in fact their lifeline to the internet was in fact engaged in espionage, supporting industrial espionage by north korea? >> sir, we have shared our information from the chinese computer response team and had telephone conversations with them as well and we continue to exchange information regarding this incident. >> so based on that, my question, which goes to the very heart of not the sanctions on a country that is so isolated that the only thing we know for sure is that their people are six inches shorter than people in the south.
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in fact, since sanctions on north korea are extreme and have not worked, because they simply do not care enough about their people to relieve their suffering and since the people -- the government of china now knows that their lifeline was used to conduct industrial espionage, are we and will we hold china responsible to be an active participant in preventing this in the future and should we consider under the ndaa china would then, by supporting espionage by not taking action be in, in fact held accountable. >> i would have to differ to my colleagues. >> we don't have a china desk person, but mr. glaser, you are close enough. do we agree that anyone provides direct support and the internet is direct support that they have to be part of the solution or part of the problem?
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>> thank you, congressman. i wouldn't want to opine under the statute but i could say that at least from a treasury department perspective, we are fully committed to holding entities within china responsible and we've designated we're willing to target entities in china. >> the government of china providing a line to the government of korea that has been used in industrial espionage? >> again, congressman, i don't think i'm familiar enough with the details on that particular line of questioning. all i can say that we have demonstrated with respect to the authorities we have, we are prepared to use them with respect to parties that need to be held accountable. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> it is a very good point and one that in dialogue with
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beijing, i think, mr. issa should be explored, because you are right. that line obviously has been used. and i think the other consideration is the fact that some of those involved in the hacking in the past, maybe not currently, but in the past had training in beijing as some have training in moscow. and so i think reminding mr. glaser of the necessity of discussing this with those that might enable that activity is something to raise. go ahead, you have the floor. >> i was just befuddled that the general who now has authority over cyber security in the last days of last year, we transferred principal authority to homeland security, so the general is here, he can provide mr. glaser with the questions and answers as to whether or not china had a government line to north korea and perpetrated this and three, the real question is if that lifeline remains in effect and another attack
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occurs, or is occurring as we speak, how do we deal with china? obviously it is beyond the stoep of this hearing. but i think it is an important one, will china be part of the solution actively or are we to continue basically dealing with sanctions over a country that is immune to sanctions because they are immune to outside hard currency except when they sell conventional weapons and or nuclear secrets and use that to gain hard currency. that is where the challenge of how do we get china as an open partner and that is why i had the line of questioning. i thank you for your indulgence, mr. chairman. >> thank you. we go to mr. ted yoho. >> thank you.
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i appreciate you being here. back to 1994, what was the intent of the nublgt talks -- new clear talks and wasn't it to get into energy talks with north korea? >> the same purpose that we are pursuing now is to denuclearization. >> so they entered into the north korea agreed framework with the united states. that broke down and they started -- they kept building nuclear capabilities. at what point were there triggers or signs that we knew they weren't staying true to their admission to get away from nuclear proliferation or getting into nuclear proliferation and getting away from energy production? what were those signs? >> well we had credible evidence, intelligence, that north koreans were continuing to pursue nuclear programs despite entering into the agreed framework arrangement with us. >> i'm asking you these questions because we didn't respond in a timely manner and i
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want to know what parallels there are between north korea and where we are with iran right now in the nuclear -- so we don't make the same mistakes. do you see any that we need to pay attention to more closely to make sure we don't make that same mistake with iran? >> i'm not in a position to comment specifically on our ongoing efforts with iran. but i will note, in the north korean context, as we discussed earlier with the chairman, we've learned very important lessons from our previous efforts, both the agreed framework and the six-party process and this is causing us to move much more deliberate and cautiously toward any resumption of any negotiations because we want to make sure that when we resume negotiations that we'll actually achieve lasting progress and not repeat the mistakes -- >> that is exactly what we have to do and we need to learn from the past so we don't make those mistakes with iran. general. what is your opinion on what we've learned from north korea and where we're at with iran?
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>> well, thank you for the question, sir. frankly that is out of the scope of my expertise. >> ok, i'll come back to that. i have other questions here. one of these goes along the line of what mr. issa was saying, i can't imagine north korea being able to act alone in this. and i don't know if it is right to say, but i would see china acting as the puppeteer or north korea being the puppet or the stooge being directed by china do you feel the same way in this? >> you know, at this point -- thank you very much for that question as well, sir. at this point, i don't have any indication or any information that would indicate anybody but those that have been attributed by -- >> let me ask mr. glazyer. what do you feel on that? >> i don't have any information on the ongoing investigation but i can say that while china and north korea are allies, i don't
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think it is correct to say that everything north korea does, it does with chinese instruction or even blessing. >> but knowing their limited ability on the internet they have to be working with somebody, i would think. how about you ambassador kim? >> i think that is a very important question. and that is a question that interagency, including our intelligence commuty should be looking closely to determine whether the requirements of ndaa sanctions are met by virtue of the fact that the north koreans used an ip located in china. but i agree with danny that there is no indication that the chinese government or chinese authorities knew about the attack or in any way con doped -- condoned the attack on sony. >> all right. one last point and this is off
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of my colleague mr. connelly, he was talking about what constitutes a cyber attack and at what point do we deem it an act of war? how many people need to die or how much damage needs to happen to a country? these need to be answer sod there is a clear definition of what an act of war is. right now i see there is a gray area and no one is willing to commit. i think it would behoove our government if we drew some lines and say if you cross this line this is considered an act of war. what is your thoughts on that, general? >> thank you for that question. frankly, sir, that has been debated in the war colleges for many years. and as a graduate of the war college, i believe that we should have that dialogue and we should -- >> i don't think we need any more debated, i think we need to define it, because the day is coming. how about you, mr. glazyer? >> i'm sorry, what constitutes an act of war is out of my expertise. >> i'm out of time so i'll have
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to have you submit those to the record. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. thank you, mr. yoho and let me go to ileana ross latenan, chairman emeritus for this hearing. -- committee. >> thank you. following up on the north korea-cuba nexus, in 2014, north korea attempted to ship from cuba a concealed shipment of quote, various components of surface to air missile systems and launchers, mig 21 jet fighters parts and engines shell casings, rocket propelled projectiled ed projectiles, end quote. and we did penalize the north
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koreans, thank you mr. glazer, but not the enablers, the cuban regime. why not sanction cuba for aiding and abetting the north koreans. now this shipment of military hardware, i just read a little snippet of parts of what it entailed were traveling from cuba to north korea in containers filled with sugar quickly melting sugar. officials stopped it at the canal and the north korean captain attempted to commit suicide. he didn't try to commit suicide because he feared u.n. sanctions or he feared u.s. sanctions. he feared the revenge of kim jong-un. now i want to know why we don't sanction cuba for aiding and abetting the north koreans and why didn't we work with the u.n. so the u.n. could impose their sanctions. you correctly point out ambassador kim, that sanctions are important. this is what the u.n. response was. this is the security council committee for -- four-page strongly worded memu. that is what cuba got.
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it said the concealed arms and illicit cargo to conclude the hazardous cargo was not declared on the ship's manny fest and the -- manifest and the cargo was hidden under 218,000 bags of raw sugar. but, boy, they got really tough. they said the committee encourages all member states to remain vigilant regarding their obligations and responsibility to inspect suspect cargo to prevent prohibited items going to and from the d.p.r.k. and to ensure the implementing instruments -- blah blah blah blah. in regard, the committee draws the attention of member states as security resolution -- oh, my golly. this is all that happened. when they were shipping migs and everything else under melting sugar. and you talk about the sanctions and how important they are.
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yet, treasury department looked the other way. it was like that ship just came magically from cuba, phantom ship, violated all kinds of sanctions of the u.s. and the united nations and there was no penalty to pay. so we wonder why north korea does what it is doing and why it is in cahoots with other rogue nations. so i encourage you to be a little tougher it. takes two to tango. north korea was not shipping these on their own. and lastly, mr. chairman and i know i'm out of time. but on wipo, i've been concerned about this and with former ranking member howard berman, we asked for an investigation on the transfer of u.s. origin technology by the u.n.'s world intellectual property organization wipo to iran and it was clear this administration did nothing from preventing wipo from transferring sensitive dual use technology to north korea and has not taken the tlets of technology transfer seriously,
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incredibly after wipo directy -- director general francis gurry knowingly withheld the organization's transations with north korea in 2012 in violation of u.s. security council resolution, wipo again ran a controversial mission to north korea last june and has been less than forthcoming with details about that mission, yet not only was gurry not held accountable, he was once again reappointed in may 2014 as director general of wipo with little resistance from the obama administration. we just look the other way. what are we going to do to prevent u.s. technology and u.s. taxpayer dollars from being transferred in the future when we have that kind of an attitude? we don't have much time, but i just -- you don't need to answer. but just sanctions are important, we need to implement them. a strongly worded memo from either the treasury or the u.n.
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is not going to do the trick. it won't stop anybody. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. in adjourning let me thank our witnesses but also say that mr. engel and myself look forward to working with state and treasury, we're going to bring this legislation up again that we passed in the senate last year and we're going to try to move it quickly. so we'll be meeting with all of you and i think that, frankly, a lot of these actions against north korea have been very long in coming. and for those of us that have urged a more robust response, we want to make certain the tools are there to do it and do it effectively and cut off the hard currency for the regime. we'll be in contact with you. thank you very much for your testimony. >> thank you, mr. chairman. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] [captioning performed by the
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national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] >> "washington journal" is live every morning at 7:00 eastern. david cameron is in washington dc. he and president obama will hold a joint news conference. president obama delivers the state of the union address to a joint session of congress on tuesday. we will have his speech and the republican response and we will hear from members of congress live coverage starting on tuesday at 8:00 eastern. newly elected iowa senator joni ernst will deliver the republican response to the state of the union address. she is the first woman to represent her state in congress. we will have that live on c-span on tuesday night.
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>> next, remarks from the head of the national endowment for humanities, william adams. he spoke at the national press club about a new initiative to -- new initiative. this is an hour. >> good afternoon. welcome. before we begin, i would like to ask you all to stand and observe a minute of silence, remembering the terrorist attack on charlie ebdo, the french satirical publication, whose editor and for leading cartoonists were among those killed at the newspaper last wednesday.
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we honor their memories and contributions to our profession and to the freedom of the press. as a mark of special respect to those who died, we at the national press club are observing a minute of silence in their memory at the start of every event at the club this week, including with our annual membership meeting tomorrow. [minute of silence] thank you very much. please be seated. welcome, again. i am an adjunct professor at the george washington university school of media and public affairs, former international
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bureau chief with the associated press and the 107th president of the national press club. the national press club is the world's leading organization for journalists. we have events such as this and we foster a free press worldwide. for more information, please visit our website at on behalf of our members worldwide, i would like to welcome our speaker and those of you attending today's event. our head table includes guests of our speaker and working journalists. i know that members of the general public are attending. i would also like to welcome our c-span and public radio audiences. you can follow the action on
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twitter using the #npclunch. now it's time to introduce our head table guest. i like each of you at the head table to stand briefly as your name is announced. from the audience's right, -- fellow in the full bright scholar's program. jamelle bay freelance journalist. sara wayer washington correspondent for the arkansas democrat gazette. carol sneijder, president of the american association of colleges and universities and guest of our speaker. nick deputy c.e.o. of the united states capitol visitor center and co-organizizer of
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this luncheon, thank you nick. betsy, director of the smith soon yum art museum and guest of our speaker. jerry, washington bureau chief for the buffalo news, chair of the speakers committee and a former national press club president. skipping over our guest of honor for a moment, amy henderson, historian of the national portrait gallery and co organizer of this luncheon. phillip lewis, vice president of the andrew w. melon foundation and guest of our speaker. [cheers and applause]
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this year marks the 50th birthday of the national endowment for the humanities, an independent federal agency that is funded by taxpayers. our speaker today has chaired the organization since mid 2014, and we hope to hear bro adams plans for marking that anniversary. like its sister organization, the national endowment for the arts, the n.e.h. had shared its politically charged controversies over the years. those cultural debates have largely been eclipsed in recent years and any $148 million budget grants generally go to state humanity consoles, museums, research and
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educational institutions. a native of michigan adams has deppings from colorado college at the universe si of colorado at santa cruz. his formal education was interrupted by three years of service in the army, including one year in vietnam. it was partly that experience he said that motivated him to study and teach in the humanities. he has said "it may be serious in a certain way, and as a 20-year-old combat infantry advisor, i came face to face accutely with questions that writers, artists, philosophers and musicians examine in their work, starting with what does it mean to be human." he served as vice president and
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secretary of wezz lynn university. he became president of bucknell university in 1995 and president of colby college in 2000. last spring, president obama nominated adams to serve as the 109 chairman of the national endowment for the humanities. ladies and gentlemen, please give a warm national press club welcome to bro adams. [cheers and applause] >> thank you for those nice words and good afternoon everyone welcome, thank you so much for coming. it's great to be here at the national press club. i want to thank its organizizers for inviting me and the chance to talk about n.e.h. and the work we're doing. i'm also very grateful for the inspiration of the cupcakes. [laughter] we've been talking a lot about the 50th at any age, and we
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haven't talked yet about cupcakes. [laughter] but i know now that's what we're going to do. that's all i have to say on the planning for the 50th today. but there will be cupcakes. some additional expressions of thanks to those here today, i want to thank my colleagues from n.e.h., including members of our national council and national trust for being with us today. i want to especially thank judy for helping make these arraignments. my guests at the head table, you heard them announced, great colleagues passionate advocates for the humanities and i'm honored by their presence. i'm also very grateful to friends and colleagues from other organizations around the region and many friends here today from colby college where i had the honor to serve as president for 14 years. thank you all for coming. i've come today particularly to announce an important new initiative at n.e.h., one that i
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think will bring humanity scholars to the forefront of discussions of american life. but first and by way of some important context for that, i want to talk a little bit about n.e.h., its history and its role in our cultural life in the united states. nearly 50 years ago president lyndon johnson signed the national foundation of the arts and humanities act. the act created both a national endowment for the arts and the national endowment for the humanities. and it was part of a truly remarkable ledge slacive agenda. consider this in a brief four year span, the congress passed in addition to this act the civil rights act of 1964. the voting rights act of 1964, the wilderness anth of 1964. the social security amendments of 1965, which of course created
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medicare and medicaid. the national historic preservation trust act of 1966. and the civil rights act of 1968 also known as the fair housing act. wow. i mean that's really an amazing legacy. and the legacy of these pieces of legislation are of course still being debated here in washington and elsewhere around the country, and maybe around the world. but there's no question at all that they changed this country profoundly and they changed it forever. in the intervening 50 years n.e.h. has also changed somethings. since its founding the agency has made roughly 71,000 grants to individuals and organizations totaling approximately $5 billion and leveraging an additional $2.4 billion in private philanthropy. they have supported colleges, teachers colleges universities, libraries, historical locations
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in every state and territory. they funded film makers, museum creators librarians, and they've helped many small and large cultural organizations preserve artifacts documents and collections that serve as the building blocks of cultural memory and of history. they've also enabled humanity scholars to exploit digital technology increasingly with time for research and presentation and the dissemination of resources. the most significant result of all this work i think, and there have been many important ones, but the most significant one i think has been the steady growth of what i want to call the cultural capitol of the united states. we've had a lot of partners in this work, including humanities council in every state and territory, state and local governments, private foundations represented by melon here today and generous individuals. but without the endowments,
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leadership, and without its symbolic authority, and without its singular commitment to the entire nations cultural leg se and capacity our cultural foundations which we all benefit from today would be far less impressive and far less appreciated by the american people and by many others around the world. the importance of cultural capitol can be assessed and measured in a number of ways beginning with the depth of public engagement. that it creates and sustains. and two programs i want to mention are great. in 1970, under the leadership of chairman ronald berman, n.e.h. made the fateful decision to invest aggressively in museums, in documentary film making and in television production. the results were felt almost immediately. on the museum side, very important part of what we still do n.e.h. grants supported a number of large and hugely successful art exhibits in major
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museums around the country, including the path breaking two time common exhibit in 1976, which was seen by nearly eight million people here in washington, in new york, los angeles, new orleans san francisco, seattle and chicago. in new york alone, nearly 30% of the visitors were first time museum goers. this exhibit, and several others like it, and i'm sure betsy knows a great deal about this, changed forever the way museums think about their public and the way the public thinks about museums. it also led wonderfully to a steve martin satire song which you can still access on youtube. i did it the other day and i urge you to do it as well. n.e.h.'s investment in documentary film making also has had extraordinary impact, and ken burns work stands out from all of the films we have done and there many more. the brooklyn bridge came out in
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1982, it was followed by the life and times of huey long, and by the civil war which first aired in 1990 and had in its first viewing 12 million viewers. ken's most recent film, which i'm sure many people in this room have seen, the roosevelts, were seen by 33 million people in the first week of airing on public television stations across the country. now these grant productions are very impressive and they're very important to us. but they represent only the tip of the ice berg of n.e.h.'s impact. millions more americans have been touched in some way bay the state humanity counsels, libraries historical associations by the work of n.e.h. funded scholars, which include 18 pulitzer prize winners. by institutes for educators and by the courses these educators offered in the wake of their n.e.h. experience, and there is also our website which offers
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humanities resources to primary and secondary school teachers around the country and draws more than three million visitors every year. public engagement really matters, it's very important to us but cultural capitol matters in other ways. the cultural economy is hugely important to the economic health of thousands of communities around the country. i came from one recently, waterville, maine. it was likely to matter more and more as the economy of the united states shifts from being a manufacturing economy to one based on financial services health care, retail, human services education and so forth. more important still our democracy relies on the knowledge that citizens have of our political history and the principles and values that history was built upon and enshoing that this story is told broadly and powerfully is
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among n.e.h.'s most important responsibilities, and its accomplishments. the legislation creating n.e.h. inspired by the report of the national commission on the humanities, which was formed in 1963 through the combined energies of the american council of learned societies, the council of graduate schools and the united chapterers of phi beta capa. it's true that the leaders of these organizations, pauline and suzanne and john churchill are here today. the commission was chaired by barbie keeny, the president of brown university and later n.e.h.'s first chairman. and it included a remarkable array of scholars, lie brarnse and museum directors interestingly, it also included tom watson jr., the second president of i.b.m., and ambassador to the soviet union who presumely knew a thing or
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two about cultural imagination and technological invasion. they had several basic arguments devoted to arts and humanities which were later used in the founding legislation. i want to mention them briefly. here they are, the humanities embraced the great enduring human values of justice freedom, equality, virtue, beauty and truth. without the deliberate cultity vation of these virtues in the fb atmosphere we risk losing sight. american democracy demands that citizens understand their history and its fundamental principles and values. the humanities promote the kind of cross cultural and multicultural understanding that is required in an increasingly interconnected world. given its economic and military power in the world, the united states must be a leader in the realm of the spirit and ideas, and therefore has a compelling
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state interest in developing humanisthic knowledge and institutions. shaping all these knowledge that n.e.h. would have to be focused at once on two related but slightly different spheres of activity. on the one hand, the agency would have to invest in fundamental research in the various fields composing the humanity philosophy, literary studies, archaeology anthropology, language political theory and so forth. at the same time, the founders and particularly i found early supporters in congress were also determined that humanities research has public meaning, influence, and impact. the legislation declared "the humanities belong to all the people of the united states." and accordingly n.e.h. had to be committed not just to the cultivation of the best of what has been thought and known in
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the oft repeated words of matthew arnold but to the public and where the public actually lives. and "the current conditions of national life." that's also from the legislation. john letson who is an early member of our national council and was an official in the atlanta public school system expressed this populace impulse in a wonderful way which i love when he called for the n.e.h. to broaden the general area of the humanities as the equipment, as the equipment of all the citizens. and so for nearly 50 years n.e.h. has cared on its work with these twin purpose s in mind to ensure leadership in the realm of the spirit while engaging the humanities with the public and with the circumstances of contemporary life. this marriage of what we think of or might think of as the classical and the pragmatic for the scholarly and the popular
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has not always been easy quite frankly. like many marriages, my wife discouraged me from saying most marriages -- [laughter] like many marriages, it has experienced misunderstanding, and even jealousy. but it's also been enormously creative and vital to n.e.h.'s success in building the cultural capitol of the country. it's with that achievement in mind, and with an eye to the celebration of our 50th anniversary that the agency is officially announcing today a new initiative called the common good, the humanities in the public square. as the title suggests, the purpose of this is to engage organizations with the complex issues playing out in our public lives. and to demonstrate the relevance and the power of the humanities in addressing those issues. the notion of the common good itself should be familiar to us.
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its central to democratic political theory and practice and expresses both the right and the obligation of citizens to debate the general welfare. it is the aspirational goal, the guiding ambition that anchors zip and participation in democratic politics. and invoking this since of aspiration, i found this passage recently ben franklin said it well. so our hope in n.e.h. is to encourage humanity scholars and organizations to turn their attention towards public life. more specifically, the initiative invites humannist to engage in illuminating the grand challenges that we now face as a nation. no list of such challenges is definitive but here are a few about which i think humannists have a lot to say. how can the humanities illuminate both the positive and worriesome ways in which the remarkable advances in information technology are
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affecting individuals and communities in contemporary human life. how can it enrich the debate over the appropriate balance of security and privacy, for security and liberty that technological advances have placed before us. i dare say that in the wake of events in france, this question will become even more powerful and urgent. how can humanities understanding of the citizenship in the 21st century. how can the humanities contribute to the understanding of the relationships between humans in the natural world, another very urgent matter. how can humanities illuminate the legacies of recent wars and conflicts? and contribute to the achievement of a deeper and broader public of the understanding of the experience of war. how can the humanities contribute to the full corporation of veterans into civilian life.
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how can the humanities assist the country in addressing the challenges and opportunities created by the changing demographics in many american communities. how can the humanities illuminate the enormous promise of new bio medical technologies and procedures and deepen our understanding of the complex ethical questions that they raise. beginning this month, n.e.h. will welcome proposals in all our appropriate grant programs, for projects that draw on the resources and methods of the humanities to engage public understanding, in public understanding of these and other important dimensions of our life. several specific areas are worth mentioning. a few weeks ago in anticipation of today's announcement, n.e.h. launched the public scholars program which will provide support for well researched books in the humanities intended to reach a broad public
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audience. program aims to encourage scholarship which will be of interest broadly to the public and it will have lasting impact. under the common good, the endowment also intends to expand the initiative which supports projects and grants connecting the humanities to the experience of veterans and war. this initiative has alreadiesupported work in 50 states and all the territories through a special grant we made last spring. and we hope that it will be able to provide even more support in the next budget year. as part of the common good initiative, we are very pleased to announce today a new collaboration with the andrew w. melon foundation, i'm so pleased that phil lewis is here. the open book project is designed to give second life to outstanding out of print books in the humanities by making them freely accessible to the public as e books. i'll say that again freely accessible as e books. this is our first collaboration
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of this kind with melon, which of course in its own right has been a leading funder of the humanities since its founding in 1969. and finally, the museum libraries and cultural organizations program at n.e.h. will encourage proposals for public humanities programs that reach new, underserved or underrepresented audiences. in this regard we just announced the major partnership with the american library association supporting community programs nationwide on the theme of latino-americans, 500 years of history. we believe that the common good is important and timely for several reasons. first, we're convinced that the common good will be good for the humanities and for humanity scholarship. we're all aware, all of us, of recent criticisms that humannists have become too inwardly and too professionally focused. this initiative will provide encouragement and support to scholars who wish to demonstrate
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the relevance of their professional abilities and interests to american life. my recent experience in talking about this with people suggests that this encouragement will be welcomed, both in and outside the academy. within the academy, there is growing concern about the confines that the tenure system places on what is and is not regarded as legitimate scholarship, and beyond the academy, i think there is a hunger for the particular angle of vision that humannists can bring to public concerns. nicholas spoke last summer when he said "for me the humanities are not only relevant, but also give us a toolbox to think seriously about ourselves and about the world." the prospect of thinking seriously about ourselves and the world is what drew me and most humanists i know into the prosciutto. we were convinceded that ideas
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mattered in every day world. we believed that humanities are valuable because their study deepens our capacity to sort out the meaning of our experience. returning from the vietnam war and the turbulance of the 1960's the humanities offered me a way of thinking about what i'd witnessed. i found in them perspective and meaning. and since coming to n.e.h. by the way, i've been very pleased to note that other more recent combat veterans have been affected in a similar way by some of the programs that we have offered to veterans. a more engaged and public facing humanities profession will be good for the country as well. for most of the great challenges, most of the great challenges we face as a nation. challenges that define our times, and that will increasingly determine our future are not essentially problems of a technical or
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scientific nature. they are almost exclusively about our values, about our fundamental beliefs and ideas and assumptions, about our histories and about our cultures. these are the proper domains of the humanities, and its learning and its thinking. the public facing humanities can help us understand where we've been, what we value and believe and where we're headed. by way of example, and at the risk of being just a little provocative and too topical, consider the scorching speerns we've been through in the last few months in this country regarding the issue of race. this is hardly a new topic in american history and life. but it's one that appeared to some for a brief period of time to have become less pressing. it's hard to believe now, but remember that in the wake of the re-election in 2008, some people
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even spoke of a post racial society. and then came ferguson and staten island and bedford. it's not clear how this difficult passage we're in now and the broader conditions of which it comes will be resolved. and what exactly resolution means. but i think most people would agree that there can be no adequate understanding of our current situation without a better appreciation of the history of race relations in the united states. of our cultural assumptions and divisions and of the ways of which we actually live in and perceive the world. plenty of work there for his torns and social philosophers, among others. plenty of ground for reflection and questioning for all of us. i could use other examples, but i think you see my point. we need the forms of understanding and knowledge embodied in the humanities, historical knowledge cultural
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knowledge, emotional and psychological knowledge because they illuminate the conditions of our lives, and they insert us more deeply into our own experience the result is not the sudden disappearance bit way of the things that vex us. but a deeper understanding of who we are and how we got here and how we might lead better lives. i know that words like insight and understanding and i lume nation make some people short tempered. that's exactly what's wrong with the humanists, i can hear the grumpy anti-humanists say. they never get to the bottom of things. and of course that's true. if by the the bottom of things we mean the end. as in a cure for disease. but if year honest with ourselves about how we live, and our personal lives and in our lives with others, we know that we never get to the bottom of things in this particular sense. but sometimes we get wiser.
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i do not mean by this to under value other forms of knowledge stem for instance, the progress of science and technology is hugely important to the country and to all of us. so we have an bli invested a great deal of time and energy and resources in the advancement in the government, in education and in the private sector. but as we do we must keep other important investments in mind, especially our investments in the humanities. not just because they are the source of great beauty and pleasure which of course they are. but because we depend upon these forms of knowledge just as surely as we depend on scientific knowledge. the national endowment for the humanities will certainly continue its investments in research and education and public programs of all kinds and the preservation of cultural and historical materials. in the digital humanities, in institution building and the state and local humanities
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organizations. and the cultural capitol of this country will continue to expand as a result. in major cultural institutions in cities and libraries museum and in the work of humanity scholars. by way of the common good will also make a difference by encouraging humanity scholars and organizations to think and speak about things that matter in the public world. we all can make a difference in this sense. if i'm right that the humanities are central to the preservation of our cultural legacy and to our history and to our capacity that we face as a nation then they are everyone's business everyone's responsibility. we need to defend them and we need to promote them. and we need to support the institutions in which they live and flourish. n.e.h. will celebrate it's senn ten yill in 2055. many of us won't be around, i'm
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sure i won't be around, to learn how the next 50 years have gone and how an additional $5 billion more will have contributed to our countries cultural resources. but some future chair will be maybe here speaking to the humanities community and its friends about the impact of 50 more years of leadership in grant making. i'm certain that the report will be worth hearing. in the meantime, thank you for coming today for your interest and support of the national endowment for the humanities, thank you very much. [cheers and applause] >> thank you chairman adams for a very insightful speech. and as a journalist, thank you for making news with the
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announcement about the common good initiative. first question, at the n.e.h. your champion of the new public scholar program to, in your words, inspire humanity scholars to do a different kind of work. to make sure it enters into to public realm where it can matter and have impact. what kind of impact do you feel public scholarship can and should have in our society today? >> thank you for the question. well, as i was just saying i think that kind of work can enter into this broad realm of public discussion of these matters that are so important to us, and that they will in that way provide greater insight into where we go with those issues. we all live and we are always engaged in our history our
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culture, our ideas and our values. and to the degree that humanists can contribute to that sphere, or those spheres it will do a lot of public good. humanists don't agree about these things, by the way. so there will be discussion and debate as there should be. but i think it's by attaching themselves to those problems and to those challenges that humanity scholar cans make a great difference in our public discourse. >> your n.e.h. nishtiff is called the common good. the humanities in the public square. what is the 21st centuries public square? >> complicated. the public square has sort of a residence of different times when we all could gather around the town square, and debate the public good. of course we're a very far flung
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country now. we're big in numbers, we're big in territory, and we have this entirely new and revolutionary thing called information technology and the internet to deal with. so, the public square looks and feels quite different from what it used to be and indeed i think there are interesting questions about exactly what information technology has done to the public square, and how it's changed it. that means that we're going to have to speak in many different kinds of ways to these things including ways that are more con genal to that sphere, the internat technology and all associated things. and who knows, we might be supporting scholarships soon, that is no longer expressed in a scholarly mono graph. beyond the book we may be going beyond the book with that kind of humanities work. if we didn't go beyond the book
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we would probably be losing ground. so that's part of the meditation on the public scholar prom is how those thoughts and contributions will be expressed. >> when you became n.e.h. chair you spoke about the two strains of public humanities. the legacy of matthew arnolds idea about how humanities enrich us because they are "the best of what we have of what has been thought and said." and also of william james idea that humanities have a pragmatic purpose to shape the conduct of life. and n today's diverse and global universe are there still timeless questions and conducts? >> i think there are such questions. and for example, you know in some of this veterans
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programming we've done, we've supported a very unique entity in new york at n.y.u. a project and they have been using, speaking of timeless works, greek tragedy, in and with the production support provided by and for veterans. and it's been very interesting for me to see how timeless those are with respect to the issues that veterans are facing. i attended a reading group in maine funded by n.e.h. through our state group in maine. the maine humanities council in which veterans of three wars, vietnam, iraqi and afghanistan were reading the odyssey with a scholar from the union vessity of southern maine. the odyssey is a book about coming home from war, if there ever was one that's the book. and i was again quite struck and pleased by how passionate these
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participants were about that text and how revealing they felt it was. so there are some dimensions of these timeless attributes of the humanities. but we also need to be very atentative to the ways in which our current cultural circumstances has shaped all of these questions. and i think combining the best of what has been the timeless with our current dilemmas, challenges opportunities, i think that's where the real power of this material comes out. >> thank you. is there such a thing as "cultural literacy" today that underlies civic engagement and ideas about the public good? >> absolutely. the reason i mention more than once in my talk, this tradition american political tradition historical and philosophical,
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political and theoretical is litvinenko si involves a deep aacquaintance with those things. we're all worried, i know you are, i certainly am about the level and intensity of political participation. a lot of people are worrying about this. it's not going to get better certainly without a real national commitment to those culture and historical legacies, and to the revisiting of what that original material means in the contemporary political and social context. so reengaging civic engagement in that sense is a big thing for n.e.h., i ought to be a big thing for anyone who cares about democratic politics in the united states. >> a follow up question, is political partisanship eroding the common good and if so, what can be done about that? [laughter] >> well, that's an easy question.
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[laughter] is it eroding it? absolutely. and the sense of national community that's necessary to democratic politics has i think been badly affected by that kind of oppositional politics. i suggested in my remarks when i mentioned the challenges we face that this challenge, the intensity of these political and almost always cultural divisions as being important material for humanists to take up. so without having an answer, i would say that as a field for discussion, and humanist i think research and writing and communication and expression it's a hugely important question. and we ought to be letting ourselves loose as humanists on that question in trying to understand those divisions better, what drives them and how we might find our way to other
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forms of community. so i don't have an answer, i do have some medicine. >> how could the humanities help illuminate the debate between security and privacy in our digital world? >> well, as i said, this is a very urgent question, it's become urgent because our own recent history with what some people regard to be overly invasive forms of technological intrusion, so it's been a big issue here. the snowden controversy of course raised it in another way. now it's been raised in still another way in france. and how we balance these things, how we provide room for both sides of this value proposition in our lives and in the work of our government and official and unofficial organizations i think is hugely important.
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i think again here this is an area where people are a lot smarter than i am and with a lot more specific knowledge have had a lot to say. i was talking with jeff rosen at the center and we hope to have some discussion there at the center on the constitutional sort of issues that are present here. but to get beyond the white hot material of this into a more deliberate and well-paced reflection, for example, in the context of our constitutional past and guarantees of liberty and so forth i think would be very helpful. we're going to be tested seriously in this in france, a place i know something about, is going to be really tested in the next few weeks and months and
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years, i dare say. so it's going to become a more important conversation, and i think whether it's from a constitutional point of view, or other kinds of philosophical points of view, i think again it's something that humanists can ventilate and help us think through. >> speaking of the digital world it seems that the internet is designed to shorten attention spans. that being the case, do you have any concerns that young people who live through their phones and communicate primarily through text will never develop an appreciation for the humanities? >> yes i do. lots. that suggests two things to me. we've got to be more creatively engaged, all of us but any age and other organizations that support edge cation, and the implications of that technology in school settings for the way
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in which humanities curriculum is advanced and presented and taught. we haven't done much in that area and i think we have to approach it. i think we also have to find, and we're doing this i think much more at n.e.h. than the first, is we need to find ways of making humanities material, what's the right way to put this -- presentable understandable, and engagingly available in all kinds of technological settings. we've actually started working, i hope this doesn't surprise people in this room, we've worked on things like games, and apps, and other things that make this technology connect to some of the humanities work that people are doing. so we need to do much more of
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that too. but i think all of us, in the ways that we're involved with secondary education, have to also be involved with this in schools, school curriculum, decisions, school planning, because it's got to be, i'm not a secondary school teacher, i have a daughter who's just graduating from high school. i know her attention span is like. and i don't think it's just that she doesn't like talking to me. i think there's a lot of work to be done there. >> today's headlines illuminate the polarizing political and cultural issues that permeate american life. how can the humanities enrich public understanding about the meaning and opportunities of democratic citizenship today? can the humanities enable people to connect to our founding political principals and values in 21st century terms?
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>> yes. absolutely. i was reading an interesting piece the other day we robert bella and he talked about famous social philospher in the setting and he was talking about important moments of civic human ism, a term i like. he said in that context, the most important context in american history was of course the founding, or the constitutional founding moment. so here we have a bunch of very smart people, you know, madison and jefferson and hamilton and others, writing pieces, i guess the contemporary analog would be blogs, writing pieces in newspapers now collected in the federalists papers. and arguing about the constitution. of course there was another side to this, which we don't often rezz sect or mention they were very smart people too. they lost the argument, but it
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was an argument, and it was one that took place in a very public space. the space of newspaper. and these authors brilliant, amazing people, who by the way were deeply versed, we shouldn't forget this, deeply versed in the humanities tradition, going all the way back to the roman and greek republics, or democracies. they were making these arguments in this very public way to the people who were going to decide this. there are other moments of great civic humanism in american history, but we need to gin up another one now and need to connect it to the past but also connect to it the ken temporary political organizations and all of that. but it's very lively, it's very important, we don't do it very well, i don't think. we talk in woreshipful ways about the constitution and the
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declaration. we don't often read it and talk about it. we also don't bring it forward, and play it out in our contemporary circumstances. we need to do much more of that. >> in 1965, as you pointed out president lyndon johnson signed legislation establishing the national endowment for the arts, and the national endowment for the humanities. and in 1996, the institute museum and library services was created. these three federal grant making organizations institute our country's arts and culture policy maker. isn't it time to consolidate these functions and create a cabinet level secretary of the arts? >> and humanities i hope. secretary of the arts and humanities. >> sure, i'm sure the white house would like any editting. >> yes, yes. that question's been asked of me
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quite a bit and most ferociously by the my wife who has been pestering me about this. it's a very fair and interesting question. i've been reading a lot in the history of our agency, and sort of just next door to it, n.e.a.'s history. and we've had 50 years now of this separation, not in spirit of course, but in working fact. and for a lot of reasons, i think personally it would be very hard to consolidate these organizations and include imlf, which is another very important resource in the building of cultural capitol in the united states. i think it would be difficult. now it's not inconceiveable. so, i don't want to say it's inconceiveable. but it would be hard. i do think there are ways in which we could enjoy many more
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collaborative efficiencies. by the way, the federal government o.m.b., agrees with me on this. because they talked to us a lot about it. that's a good thing, they should. so i can see there could be a lot more integrated, particularly on the administrative side. on the programming side, 50 years is a long time, so it will need to be chairs of those organizations and leaders of those organizations including imls, who have a lot of courage and patience. >> what is the funding outlook for the n.e.h. under the new republican congress? do you anticipate budget cuts? and if so, how will your agency cope with them? >> it's a question on everyone's lips obviously in these agencies and beyond. and the simple antsy don't know. and i don't think anybody knows
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frankly yet. i will say this, because i have visited with members of our appropriationses committees in both the senate and the house. i've been impressed by how well the members are able to grab onto and connect to what we do in ways that are important to them. this question about democracy history, political fundamentals resonates with virtually everybody. but there are many other ways in which i think members are interested in what we do, and they understand what we do. so naturally we'll be talking a lot about what we actually do, and that these these grants are so important 71,000 of them over 50 years because they touch local communities. every one of them almost is about a local community in some way. so we got to keep making that
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pitch. we also need to make this argument about the public relevance of the humanities, and how not only much poorer we would be without them, and without the work we do, but how much how inca pass tated we would become if we didn't have the leadership of these enities doing what they do. >> with only two years left of the obama administration, how do you approach making priorities to get as much done as you can? >> i was just talking about this with two people this morning. i think we have to, we have to think about the most important things, most of all and to decide what they are and attack those, and then also sort them out. are they things that reasonably
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can be pursued within that time table. there is a way in which, and i hope it's true, that i and my administration at n.e.h. might have a longer life than that. and i hope that is the case. but, we do understand that there's this big moment coming so we're trying to be careful in the way we think about priorities and the scope of the work that we agree to take on. we don't want to take on things that couldn't reasonably be done say except for eight years. well, that's too far. so, we're trying as best we can to sort these out and be prudent about them. >> some questionnaires have a concern about the election years from now, or rather next year. would you be open to staying
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onto serve in the next administration regardless of the political party of the next president? [laughter] >> i think so. you know, i'm not a deeply experienced person in washington. n.e.h. and n.e. arch and imls and others are independent agencies. that is to say the work that we do do not carry out or execute in any simple sense an administration's policy, and most of the ways we understand that because we give grants and we're giving grants according to the excellence and impressiveness and persuasiveness of the grand tees of the applicants. and i can imagine a situation in which, in a new administration from a different party that work could be done by me and by my colleagues.
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and in a way that has integrity and a meaning. so it is conceiveable to me that that could happen, but i don't know what's going to happen. so we'll see. >> thank you for at least responding to the question. >> this is -- sir, 2015 marks the beginning of the 509 anniversary commemorations of the vietnam war. you served in that war. 50 years on do you see a lasting effect of that war on our nation's collective sense of its own identity? >> wow. that's a humanities question if i ever heard one. yes, in some ways i do. i do. i mentioned this amazing legislative agenda, the johnson
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administration had coming out of the kennedy administration. and what's so impressive to me about that time and that achievement is that it was achieved in circumstances that were extraordinarily difficult. now just remember there are a lot of people in this room who do remember how tough those times were and that all of this happened in the midst of those circumstances, is really quite amazing to me. i think there are ways in which that turbulance has deeply affected me and others of my generation and so, in many ways that are cultural, in many ways that are political, i think we are a very different place, because of it. however, at the same time, you know we find ourselves coming out of now what 15 years, more than 15 years, of almost
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continuous conflict in circumstances and in sort of political frameworks that are not hugely difficult. we're still talking about counter insurgency and theory. it is one of the reasons i think i'm so interested in n.e.h.'s question about the legacy of war is how we as a people think about what we've been through. and keeping the memory of what we've been through alive. and that's difficult. that's a difficult thing to do. but it's very important that we do it. when we go into these situations, we're not thinking very much about what life is like when we come out of them. and of course now that we're coming out of them, we are confronted with these very complicated questions about
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veterans. about their lives, how they get reengaged in civilian life. and those kind of questions need to be on our minds at the beginning as well as at the end. >> we are almost out of time, but before asking the last question, we have a couple of housekeeping matters to take care of. first of all i'd like to remind you about our upcoming luncheon on january 27. chairman of the federal energy regulatory commission will speak about the challenges her agency faces to maintain the reliability of the nations electricity grid and reasonable prices for consumers. next, i'd like to present our guest with a traditional national press club mug. and the last question, on a lighter note, you and your wife lauren sterling were known to have taken to the stage while you served as president of colby college.
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literally. you both appeared on stage in a scene in a musical "annie." do you have a special love for broadway musicals and can we expect to see you on one of washington, d.c.'s many theater stages? [laughter] >> i know as to whether we'll appear in washington on the stage, i know my wife is hoping very much not. we will not be appearing on stage. she humored me. she was a musical theater actor for much of her early professional life and has a wonderful talent and great voice. she put up with me, as we did "annie" and a piece from "guys and dolls" and there were some others. in the jazz concert before we left we did the great song "fever." would you like to come up lauren and do -- no. but in any case, my love for musical theetcher is pretty
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significant came from lauren and she introduced me to all the great classics and to sondheim particularly, one of my heroes now. it's been a great part of our time together and it was a gift given to me by my wife. thank you. [cheers and applause] >> thank you. thank you chairman adams. i have to say thank you all for coming today. we are adjourned. >> president obama delivers the state of the union address to a joint session of congress on tuesday. we'll have the president's speech and the republican response, plus we'll get your reaction and hear from members of congress. live coverage starting tuesday night on c-span, and c-span radio. newly elected iowa senator will
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deliver the republican parties response to president obama's state of the union address. the senator was elected to the senate in november. she's also the first woman to represent her state in congress. we'll have that live on c-span tuesday night. >> washington journal begins in a moment and we will take your calls. prime minister is in washington dc he and the president will hold a joint conference live at the white house and we will have coverage at 12:20 eastern on c-span. >> the u.s. visa waiver program allows citizens to travel to the u.s. without a visa or stays of 90 days or less. coming up, the former head of the program joins us to address security concerns. then we will talk to two former
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house members about gridlock in washington dc. republican tom davis and democrat crossed, authors of the book, "the partisan divide," will be here. conjoint conversation on facebook and twitter. ♪ >> 43% of americans now identify as politically independent. that is the highest in the gallup poll ever. what is an independent and what do they believe, what is their impact on the political system? that will be our opening segment of "the washington journal." we want to hear why you are an independent. if you are an independent and live in the eastern time zone call


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