tv Washington This Week CSPAN April 12, 2015 3:00pm-5:01pm EDT
break out. the only thing that made the framework possible was first the u.s. agreed to iran to have in -- enrichment for its domestic practical needs. that is why iran accepted to every transparency measures. and iran was ready to give every confidence building measures that iran would never diapered -- divers same line. i do not know how many was nuclear bomb. and obama said -- nuclear bomb. these narratives, it is still not in corrected in the u.s. congress. there is a big misunderstanding and they are repeat the same mistakes today. more concerns about issues
beyond nuclear. you have our panelists. israeli, and so and so. the reason netanyahu and the hawks in washington are pushing that administration strategy is to contain iranian influence and power. this is the reality. as long as they really do not recognize the fact. what is the fact? i believe for 35 years, the u.s., the world powers, they did everything they could on coercion strategies against iran. multilateral sanctions. u.n. sanctions. the war against iran. even using chemical weapons.
they all supported the weapons of mass destruction against iranians. they all supported the use of weapons of mass destruction's against iranians. 100,000 uranium and -- 100,000 iranians were killed or injured. no other country, and the past 35 years, has been under so much pressure and sanctions orchestrated by the u.s. however, after 35 years, everybody today is crying and complaining, why is iran so stable? white ironic so powerful -- why iran is so powerful? iran is everywhere. this is evidence and fact that 35 years of sanctions and pressures and the most powerful coercion and policy against iran not only has failed, but has strengthened iran. stability and power in the region.
and look at the u.s. in the region. they got old weapons, money, support. and you can see the collapse of u.s. allies in the region. and others won't understand therefore -- and one would say look, if you are right, then release the sanctions. here is another misunderstanding about iranian culture between our regional arab allies and even the west and even in washington. i have been 30 years within the iranian administration. i am iranian and there is a
culture. they need to understand iranian culture. more pressure, more sanctions would make iran more aggressive. therefore, as long as the congress follows the strategy, iran, like the last 35 years will be more aggressive. and you will try more, you will be feared more about the role of your own. if there is more opening to iran, more cooperation iranians, they would make a deal like you on other the disputed issues like it did on the nuclear. therefore, as long as these narrative continue in u.s. congress, i am optimistic even about the future of iran us on relations. i am pessimistic, sorry. [laughter] mr. pratt: dr. sullivan? dr. sullivan: one country we haven't mentioned here is china.
and they are very much involved in the situation, including developing two of the largest oil field in iran under sanctions. i don't think the issue isn't application of two tough sanctions. it is an issue of not applying the sanctions we already have. the chinese imports 60% of iran's oil exports. they built a real system. they built roads. they were very much involved in iran. the russians are very much involved. that is another country we have maybe mentioned once or twice in here. it is not just the u.s.. we have lost leverage. some people in the city think we can do some ink and the world jumps. this is a different world. china is a powerful country. russia is not as powerful in its economy. it is degraded, and its leaders or something else. but the chinese are a powerful country that wants more
influence in the middle east and they are moving into every single country. it is one of few countries that helped saudi arabia and iran at the same time. they support the palestinians and the israelis at the same time. they are playing a double game and they are playing it brilliantly. and our leverage in the region is not what it was, even five years ago. so to think that we can say sanctions and close the door and everyone jumps, that is not the way it is anymore. it is a different iran, it is a different china. china, when this whole thing started, was a poor country back in 1979. the iranian revolution. china was of poor country. it had no real clout in the region. and it didn't start importing oil until 1983. this is a totally different world. we have to get up to speed on
this one. dr. harb: the unfortunate fact is that i believe the only thing that might come related to congress as the white house would have some sort of a ability to break the proof kind of thing. unfortunately, the situation is such that congressman are not necessarily listening to these arguments. dr. anthony: -- i come at it from a slightly different perspective, but i and a but the same point. and that is the pressure of lobby groups, neoconservatives and those who are interested in advancing the israeli narrative, or is really objectives, or israeli interests. and iran has become quite convenient as a distraction from israel's actions. israel's policies. israel's positions. israel's -- and it will continue. to serve this tactical role, to
deflect attention away from the eastern mediterranean, specifically israel and its building of settlements. by focusing on iran as the whipping boy, the bad boy, this gave goat, the fear mongering there. this is because it has been a successful tactic by israel and its friends. in 1982, the u.s. was on a roll, having cap david under its belt and captain the israelis to withdraw from the saana. in the israeli push back was over our dead bodies. and this will not be your agenda. and we thought that this was hubris run amok, but it wasn't. i sat in on meetings and generally of 1982 where state department said that between april 15 and june 15, israel will invade lebanon. and we said, why would they do that? because there is a cease-fire.
and that is already seven months, has been negotiated with the plo and the cia. by the end, it will be lebanon's. why would they do that? and the answer was because they want to change the agenda completely. and, indeed, they did i invading lebanon. and they remain there directly or indirectly for the next 19 years. during which time, with the attention deflected, the settlements doubled, quadrupled, quintupled. on the settlements all remain. so this is quite tempting. even with united states invasion of iraq in a march, 2003. since then, israel has built a so-called separation barrier the security wall.
this has cut into what was to be the territory for an interdependent state of palestine. 22% remaining. so territorial expansion has occurred in the shadow of deflecting american detention -- attention. and we have done nothing to prevent those events that i just described. that has put a comprehensive peace even further from the reach of those who have cried in the last year with the secretary of state carry, and before him
mitchell, and before him: powell, and before him, etc. we have been ineffectual. so i share the pessimism of the ambassador, but i arrive at it differently. iran will continue to be in object of all scorn and left in isolation if those are lobby them are successful. mr. pratt: thank you. i think we have probably less than three or four minutes left, so what i would like to do is just one final question. and i will post it to the panel. we'll just go right on the row. what would be the regional implications -- repercussions for a failure to arrive at an acceptable march 30 deadline? what is the next step if there is no agreement on the technical details over the next 90 days? we will start with dr. sullivan
and move this way. dr. sullivan: probably a delay because i don't think it will be every trouble goal. it is going to be an extremely complicated situation. after just give up until your hands up on july 1, that would probably bring a great deal of political resentment and anger within iran, within the iranian leadership, and the implications of that could be significant for whatever is happening between the united states and iran on other issues. if it breaks down entirely, then we are back to step one. and to get these folks back into the table, even if it is that
wonderful 10 star hotel, it is going to be very difficult. the proxies for iran and others may also react in a connected way -- in a kinetic way, if this happens, making my far more complicated in the region. the game has started. and i don't mean a fun game. i mean a very complicated and dangerous game. and it may not be a retrievable one if this thing breaks down. but the agreement, if there is to be an agreement, has to be a proper one. and very long-lasting. at has to be a step to go to do with the other issues that are involved with this. otherwise, we will have an agreement on something narrow and nothing else. dr. harb: i agree with paul that maybe -- maybe the resort would
be to postpone the negotiations, the technical details, but at the same time, if we resort -- if we postpone those, then it is likely that elements within the regime will try to start things up regionally so it can have a little bit more of a marketing chip in those extended negotiations. dr. katzman: i think given the reaction in iran to the
tentative deal, i think it will be extremely difficult for iran not to go forward and have the final deal. i think the repercussions in iran would be tremendous if there were a collapse at the end of this. i think president -- the president could probably not finish. he would certainly not be able to continue. i think you would see a major, major of people -- upheaval.
-- upheaval if this doesn't go to completion at this point. >> i agree that the technical details are so difficult, i would fully expect when june 30 comes, some extending up the talks. that would suit a number of the gulf states because they would like to see a tighter agreement negotiated. they don't want sanctions lifted yet until the agreement is better. because they have recently realized that they needed to
lead in dealing with geopolitical threats rather than wait for the united states to lead them -- not only that, but they are also seeing that united states is responding to their lead and the united states is gradually getting more involved, helping in yemen, helping more in syria than before. it would suit a number of those estates for the negotiations to continue until a better deal was agreed upon. >> i believe already the negotiations have reached -- they have already decided to strike a deal. the u.s. also cannot lead the negotiation table. they cannot leave the negotiation table because of two reasons. three reasons. one, from the beginning, the agreed criteria would be an pt -- npt. there is nothing left or disputed within npt. everything is agreed, even in details. second, iran is the only country with measures -- non-divergent towards an organization far beyond npt. third is the realities in the region. this dictates to them to finish the job by july 1. if it fails, you would have upheaval in tehran or washington. the implication, even if we do not agree with the war powers, why iran and the regional powers like saudi arabia, egypt cannot sit together and agree on the same measures -- beyond npt for a nuclear weapon free zone come in the region, why? this is already achievement for the regional countries, regional powers to sit together to agree for a regional mechanism -- iran, saudi arabia, iraq are the main powers. finally, regardless of the nuclear issue, the problems in the region definitely is far by beyond the iranian nuclear issue.
as long as we don't have cooperation between the powers you are not going to get anywhere, even if the deal is done. >> it is 12:00, time to move on and close the proceedings here. on behalf of the national council on u.s.-arab relations come i want to thank are distinguished analysts -- panelists for coming today to share their projections for the future. let's hope the next three months are eventful. i want to point out in closing that the president's legacy is on the line on this. there is serious discussion and debate -- if we can protect the nuclear issue and bring regional stability to the middle east these are noble objectives which i think in the days ahead will give us a better understanding of whether these are goals that
[captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] >> hillary is running for president. it is a racial after a video was released a short while ago. here's a look. ♪ >> i'm getting ready for a lot of things. we are starting to get the gardens ready. legendary here in my own neighborhood. my daughter is about to start kindergarten a year or are moving. a better school.
>> after five years of raising my children, i am now going back to work. >> every day, we are trying to get more ready, more prepared. >> i am right now applying for jobs. what the real world will look like after college. >> getting married this summer to someone i really care about. >> i'm going to be in a costume. >> i'm getting ready to retire soon. a lot of home renovations. >> most importantly, we want to teach our dog to eat the trash. >> i started a new career. this is a fifth-generation
country, founded on hard work. hillary clinton: i'm running for president. the deck is still stacked in favor of those at the top everyday americans need a champion. i want to be that champion. so you can do more than just get by. you can get ahead and stay ahead . when families are strong america is strong. it is your time and i hope you join me on this journey. >> that was a video just posted on hillary clinton's website.
here are remarks from jeb bush considering his own run for president in 2016, and the political at posted by rand paul. >> the coming weeks and months i look forward to policy proposals. i believe every american deserves the right to rise and the opportunity to achieve the american jury impaired abroad, america should be respected from our allies and. by our enemies. it is critical we change the direction the country is heading to we must do better than the obama clinton foreign-policy that has emboldened our enemies. better than their failed the government policies that stay out of the way of real economic growth and prosperity. i believe it is conservative ideals that will make our great country even stronger.
i know we could do better and together, we will. >> what path will america take? a row to yesterday? hillary clinton represents the worst of the washington machine, the arrogance of power, corruption, and cover up, failed leadership with tragic consequences. the washington machine is destroying the american dream. it is time for a new leader and a new way -- rand paul. he plans to balance the budget by law, require congress to read legislation, term limits on washington politicians. rand paul: i have a message that is loud and clear and does not mince words. we have come to take our country back. >> the american dream.
rand paul: i am rand paul and i approve this message. >> hillary clinton has made it official she is running for president. the senator and first lady made the plans official with a release of the video you saw just a short while ago on youtube. she also posted on her website hillary clinton.com. >> this sunday on q and a senior editor for the weekly standard, andrew ferguson, on his writing career, and what voters are looking for intake -- in a candidate. >> they want somebody who looks like he has stood up for them. i'm amazed the degree to which primary voters on both sides are motivated by resentment and the sense of being put upon. those people really do not
understand us. here is a guy who does not understand us and he will stick it to them. at happens on both sides. hillary clinton gets her own version of that kind of thing. i did not think that was actually true 30 years ago. resentment is always a part of politics, honestly. the degree to which it is almost exclusively the motivating factor in truly committed republicans and democrats. >> sunday night on c-span's "q&a." >> now, vice president widen on u.s. policy in iraq, and efforts to combat the islamic state, and . he spoke about improvements in iran's military capability. he spoke at the national defense university in washington, d.c.
this is about 30 minutes. [applause] vice president biden: thank you for that introduction. it is an honor to be before such as single audience. -- an incredible, distinguished audience. ambassador nesbitt, thank you. she is a senior vice president. i am just a vice president. [laughter] vice president biden: these days, i do not like the word "senior" associated with my name and finally, i would like to say to the ambassador, the iraq's ambassador to the united states, it is an honor to have you here today. military officers, men and women, and brian mcewen. how are you doing, brian? he worked for me since he got out of the university of notre dame, and that was 412 years ago.
[laughter] vice president biden: it is good to see you, brian. next week, the prime minister will make his way to washington, d.c. this will give us an opportunity to take stock of where things stand right now. that will be the focus of my remarks today. critics have made a number of claims regarding our policy in iraq and the state of affairs in iraq today. they say iraq's fight against isil him under the command of their government with the support of america's coalition has stalled, is in stalemate. we read that isil remains in a commanding position inside iraq, that iran and its proxies are leading the fight against isil and they are dominating iraq. and that iraq it self is likely to be a thing of the past, doomed to split apart because of sectarian violence. there is just one problem with
these critiques. the claims do not reflect the circumstances on the ground. the claims do not represent the circumstances on the ground. they do not reflect iraq's progress against isil and complete what is significant and growing. a rack -- iraq's resilience in what many thought would split them apart. or iraq's resolved to uphold their independence even as they look to their neighbors in all directions for assistance. the jury is still out. it is not over yet. but the momentum is in the right direction. i would like to speak about that for a few moments today. it is true that when isil swept in and took the capital of mosul, we saw the collapse of
the iraqi army. we saw it melt away. the horrific slaughter of innocents and the enslavement of women, ethnic cleansing of minority groups, including christians who had lived in most for over 1000 -- in mosul for over 1000 years. they gain significant money from banks that they robbed significant military equipment left behind by iraqi forces, and manpower, from brutal conscription and foreign fighters. and maybe, most dangerously, a sense of momentum, even a sense of inevitability, which seemed to attract more foreign fighters. that is why when mosul fell, president obama responded decisively. within hours he took steps with all of you, the military, to make sure all of our people in our embassy were secured. within days, we put special forces into the field temporarily to better understand the battle space. we served -- we surged
intelligence and reconnaissance and set up a joint operation center in baghdad, to help the iraqis prepared to fight back. we knew that the first order of business was to make sure that iraq had a functioning inclusive government. for all the years i spent in dealing with iraq he public officials and iraqi government we knew for certain, without a united iraqi government there was no possibility, none, of defeating isil. when mosul fell, iraq had just held their national election. roughly 14 million iraqis had shown up at the polls. now they had to form a government in the middle of this chaos. and having been deeply involved, as brian mcewen will tell you
because he was with me, trying to help form the first government and being engaged, we knew this could be extremely difficult and was likely to be difficult. during the term of the last government, distrust had deepened so profoundly between sunni, shia, and kurds, creating serious obstacles through a unified effort against isil and question the willingness of whether they were willing to literally stay together. but the irony, the irony of all ironies is that iraq was actually helping form its government because of isil. isil, the various outfit that tended to tear iraq apart and establish a caliphate. it actually united iraqis. the sunnis realized they preferred a united federal iraq under a new government to being at the mercy, the mercy of isil, or dependent upon the other sunni states. the kurds realized that
withdrawing from iraq was not a viable option, and they did not want a terrorist state on the doorstep. the matter how many conversations i had with president bersani. the shia realized they did not want to take on isil alone. consequently, they each concluded they are better off if they are in this together. to quote a famous american politician, weaver hang together or hang separately. the iraqis themselves recognized how badly the trust had been
broken. nothing less than a comprehensive change could deliver a united iraqi government that could effectively take on isil. many iraqi natives believed that the only way to do this is, as i believe, was a wholesale change in leadership. that every interest in iraq had to find different leaders this time. to occupy the seats of power. i remember speaking to a proud son of mosul, him deciding that in order to make way for a new wave of leaders, he thought it was important as well that he would have to step down as speaker. there is a need from the speaker to the prime minister to the president. the result was another widely respected sunni became the new speaker. iraq chose a senior statesman to
be the new president. he stuck to his convictions under enormous pressure. you know how the process works. the president is the one that then turns to one of the factions to form a government. there was enormous amount of pressure. but he stuck to his guns and he named the prime minister, a shia leader who had built up majority support within the shia national alliance which won a majority of the votes. there was a consensus among the leaders that iraq would need a much greater measure of functioning federalism, which is called for in the constitution. they all agreed to that. that common understanding, backed by genuine act of statesmanship, has led to significant progress and a chance of a long-term unity government. in just eight months, prime minister abadi and other iraqi
leaders have formed an inclusive government, in record time arrived at a national government with equitable revenue sharing. formed an oil deal between baghdad and herb eel. i don't know how many times after 23 visits in iraq we were told there was an oil deal just over the horizon that never occurred. within the face of this crisis they pulled that together. they built a consensus mobilized thousands of sunni fighters to fight against isil. this past week, prime minister abadi visited with the forces in a plan coordinated in part to help liberate mosul. yesterday he was in embarq province. in and bar province. he was in anbar province. more efforts to organize, arm, and fight isil. he has visited cairo, abreu dobby, kuwait, and for the first
time since 1990, saudi arabia has agreed to open an embassy in baghdad. at the invitation of a shia iraqi president. at the invitation of a shia iraqi president. these are promising steps. obviously a great deal of work remains, including moving forward on the national guard legislation, legislation to design and advanced national reconciliation, including the bath education, continuing to mobilize an arm and pay sunni forces. bringing volunteer forces under the command and control of elected iraqi government. empowering local governance and planning for reconstruction in the liberated areas, consistent with their notion of federalism. all of which we will be
discussing with prime minister of body -- prime minister abadi. he and i have probably spend more time on the phone than i have with my wife. [laughter] vice president biden: the entire region, the entire world but the entire region is watching this closely. iraq he leaders cannot -- iraq he leaders cannot -- much hinges on the prime minister, but not the prime minister alone. ultimately, this is all about
iraqi leaders pulling together and they must continue to compromise, and it is hard. it is hard. thousands of bodies have been strewn and lost in the interim. but they are doing it. we knew that in addition to forming an iraqi government, the next challenge would be putting back together the ability to be able to position itself to succeed on the battlefield. that started with helping iraqis reorganize and reconstitute security forces. many iraq is have fought bravely and given their lives. thousands have given their lives in the fight against isil. that would challenge any army. but as we saw last summer, some units have been hollowed out with corruption, questionable leadership appointments, lack of discipline, sectarian infighting, and the collapse help to make the fall of mosul possible. we helped iraqis to make -- a body appointed a number of former military officers -- excuse me, relieved a number of former military officers and appointed new officers.
we are now training and have continued to train iraqi forces at four different sites across the country. 6000 have already graduated. thousands more are in the pipeline, and we are supplying weapons and critical equipment. since the fall of 2014, the u.s. has liberated over 100 million rounds of ammunition. 62,000 small arms systems.
1700 hellfire missiles, 250 ambush protected vehicles delivered in december that are now protecting iraqi forces from mines and homeland bombs. 50 additional were transferred to iraq this week. at the air force base that many of you served in, al-assad air force base, we are training iraqi forces, who in turn are mobilizing sunni fighters. iraqi national security forces training sunni tribesmen. we are also bringing iraqi pilots to the united states who are in advanced stages of flight training in arizona to enhance their capacity to defend their country in the air. we are not doing it alone. we lead and mobilized a massive national coalition, over 60 partners, nato allies, arab nations and many others to help
take on isil. it is not just a military coalition, it is a global effort to weaken isis across the board, from undercutting its messaging to tracking foreign fighters. several nations are providing significant support in iraq. a coalition partners have launched over 500 airstrikes in iraq -- spaniards, danes australians, and others have provided training inside iraq. the dutch and italy are working with us to resupply the peshmerga. several countries, including japan and saudi arabia, have made significant nonmilitary contributions in areas such as development assistance humanitarian aid. a majority within each of the iraqi constituencies and communities supports this u.s. effort and these coalition efforts. leaders from across the iraqi political spectrum have publicly asked for our help and our continued help, and we are providing the help in a smarter way. small numbers of advisors backed
by a large coalition. this large coalition is backed up by the most capable air force in the world. we are pounding isil from the sky. nearly 1300 u.s. airstrikes alone, thus far, thankfully, we have not lost, knock on wood, a single u.s. service member to enemy fire. not one. but this is a dangerous, dangerous, dangerous place. with our assistance, the iraqis have made significant progress on the battlefield. eight months ago, isil was on the offensive everywhere in iraq. no force in iraq or syria proved capable of defeating isil head on.
but today, isil has lost large areas they used to dominate. isil has been defeated at mosul dam, mounts in jar, and decree. many places have been flat out rivers. thousands of isil fighters have been removed from the battlefield. their ability to amass and maneuver has been degraded. leaders have been eliminated. supply lines have been severed. checkpoints, safehouses have been destroyed.
reports of demoralization within isl ranks are rife. there is still a long fight ahead. i do not want to paint an overly rosy picture. but the isil aura of invincibility has been pierced and that is important. let me give you one recent example where iraq us capability has been tested, as well as its leadership. three weeks ago, in every newspaper in the west or the united states and in the news, speculation was that the united states, the coalition, and iraq's effective leaders have been sidelined, particularly in to create -- in tikrit. you saw pictures, and it made it clear, the implication being we now own iraq. then something changed. the attacks stalled, and the
prime minister stepped up. he courageously stepped in making it absolutely clear that the iraqi government -- him, as commander-in-chief -- was in charge of this operation. when i spoke with him, he made it clear to me that he wanted the united states and the coalition to engage all over iraq, was his phrase, and explicitly, he wanted us engaged and requested support in tikrit. his call was joined by sunni leaders as well as the most senior religious leader in the country, grand ayatollah sistan he, who declared the iraq a government had to be in the lead.
that the units had to be under the command -- all units -- under the command of the iraqi government. and that sunnis had to be included in the liberation of their own communities. we made it clear -- general austin -- that we were prepared to help in the battle with volunteers both shia and sunni fighting alongside iraqi forces. but only if all elements in the fight operated strictly under the chain of command of the iraqi military. because that is the only way we can ensure the safety of those on the ground and minimize the risk of friendly fire. today iraq's national flag -- not isil's -- hangs over the city of tikrit. but success brings new challenges, holding military areas, policing them with forces
that are trusted by the community, in the community, that they are returning home to. transiting, governing authority transitioning back to government officials. restoring vital public services. in the face of reports relating to tikrit that there is mass looting and burning of homes. the prime minister stepped up with swift action. he condemned the abuses. he assured regular forces were patrolling those seats, and acknowledged the degree of loss that occurred.
once inside tikrit, iraq a soldiers uncovered execution grounds, where many were executed and were thrown into mass graves. mass graves are still being found, a stark reminder of the brutality of isil in the need for its defeat. this battle continues inside iraq. we are also taking the fight isil in syria the international coalition has launched over 1300 airstrikes against isil and other terrorists inside syria, bombed refineries that have been taken over by isil. the oil, both refined and crude, being used to fund their operations, eliminating that as a source of revenue. we embarked on a train and equip program, taking on isil and protecting the syrian communities. inco body, -- -- moving title can be beaten inside syria as well. i'll ever -- however, the regional challenge extends beyond syria. for years now, iraq is being -- is risking being pulled apart by a wide range of sectarian competition externally and internally. but the reality is the iraqis do
not want to be drawn into regional conflicts. they do not want to be owned by anybody. everybody forgets there was a war not but a decade before were over 100,000 were killed, a war with iran, their neighbor. they do not want to be published angling on the string of -- puppets dangling on the string of anyone's puppeteering
in the region. do not underestimate our iraq he -- our iraqi national pride, independence, and sovereignty. it is only natural iraq will have relations with all of its neighbors, including iran. the history is too long, the border is too long, and it is a difficult neighborhood. but iraq must be free to make its own sovereign choices under the authority of elected representatives of an iraqi government. we want what iraqis want, a united federal and democratic iraq defined by its own constitution, where power is shared among all iraqi communities. where a sovereign government exercises command and control over the forces in the field -- that is overwhelmingly what the iraqis want. i go back to the focus on the iraqi government. when the three major
constituencies -- sunni, shia, and kurd -- are united, into a whole and prosperous iraq, the influence of any single nation in the region is diminished exponentially because this represents the only government in the region that actually is not a stone sectarian dominance. -- is not based on sectarian dominance. this is going to be a long haul. the only success or failure is in the hands of the iraqis. but as they stand up and stand together, this administration, this country is committed to stand with them. i need not tell this audience -- since 2003, more than 1.5
million american women and men including my son, have spent significant amounts of time on iraqi soil. every single morning since i have been vice president, and before as chairman of the foreign relations committee, we contacted the defense department and i asked the same question -- give me the exact number of americans who have given their lives on iraqi soil and afghan soil. give me the exact number of the general -- not a generalization,
the exact number -- of those who have been wounded and are lost in afghanistan because nobody -- because no audience knows more than this, every one of those lives, every one of those brave women and men represents a community, represents a family and a larger family. only 1% of all americans have waged these for us. with 99% of all americans owing them support and recognition. 4481 americans have given their lives on iraqi soil, including many who served alongside the people in this room. i will bet everyone of you in unit -- i will bet every one of you in uniform knows somebody who was lost or wounded. although our mission is significantly different today -- you imagine, why am i focusing on this? although our mission is significantly different today
than it was during that period there are still men and women in uniform in iraq making sacrifices as i speak, protecting our embassy, to training and equipping iraqis. all of you who wear the uniform know that one of the loneliest feelings for your family particularly if they do not live on a base, with every other kid in school, every family and church -- dad or mom is not home for that birthday. they are not there for christmas. we have an obligation. we have an obligation. just because we no longer have 160,000 troops there, it is an obligation that is intense and is real, as it was when we had 160,000 troops there. they want our support. the families want our deep that they warrant our deep gratitude.
as a country, our one shared obligation is to give them what they need on the battlefield and care for them when they come home. their blood and toil helps give iraq another chance. our mission now is to help the iraqis make the most of this. thank you all for listening. but most of all, thank you for your service, and god bless the united states of america, and may god protect our troops. thank you. [applause]
announcer: hillary rodham clinton is running for president she made her 2016 plans official with the release of a video on youtube a short while ago. here is a look at the announcement. >> i'm getting ready for a lot of things. it's spring, so we are starting to get the gardens ready. my daughter is about to start kindergarten next year. ♪ [speaking spanish] >> after five years of raising children, i am now going back to work.
every day we are trying to get more and more ready and prepared. >> right now i am applying for jobs. >> i am getting married this summer. >> i'm going to be in a play in a fish costume. >> i'm getting ready to retire soon. retirement means reinventing yourself in many ways. >> most importantly, we want to teach our dog to >> eating the trash. >> we have high hopes for 2015. >> i started a new career. this is a fifth-generation company. this country was founded on hard work and it feels good to be a part of that. >> i'm getting ready to do something to. i'm running for president.
americans have thought their way back from tough economic times but the deck is still fact -- stacked in favor of those at the top. i want to be a champion. you can get ahead and stay ahead , because when families are strong, america is strong. >> i'm hitting the road to earn your vote. it's your time, and i will hope you join me on this journey. announcer: texas senator and republican presidential candidate ted cruz released a statement that said hillary clinton represents the failed policies of the past, and there will be a clear choice to make in 2016.
i don't think any of his doubt that the race is stronger with secretary clinton and it. now we expect there to be a vigorous debate within the party about the future of our country. and more reaction on the hillary clinton announcement from sunday morning talk shows. here are comments from mitt romney, john kerry, and build the blah zero. >> a feeling that hillary clinton is not trustworthy. this whole story of her erasing all her e-mails even though they were subject to recall and review by congress, that will make people remember that with the clinton's it is always something. >> clinton did a terrific job of rebuilding shredded alliances. she spent a lot of time working on a number of different issues, including the beginning of the effort with iran as well as the
gaza cease-fire. she will defend her own record for herself. it is not my job to do it, but i wish her well in this race, and i look forward to being able to still -- stay well away from it. >> do you want to see if she takes her advice? >> i want to see a vision. that is true of candidates on all levels. it is time to see a clear bald vision for progressive -- >> you're not endorsing her? >> i think she is a tremendous public servant. she is one of the most qualified and thoroughly vetted people to run for those office, but we need to see substance. announcer: the former secretary of state, new york senator and first lady made her 2016 plans official with the release of a video on youtube a short while
ago. announcer: this sunday on q&a andrew ferguson on his writing career the gop presidential candidates for 2016, and what voters are looking for in a candidate. >> they want somebody who looks like he's stood up for them. i am amazed the degree to which primary voters on both sides are motivated by resentment. those people really don't understand us. here is a guy who under stanzas and will stick it to them. that happens on all sides. hillary clinton will give her own version of that. i don't think that was actually true 30 years ago. resentment has always been a part of politics, but the degree
to which it is him was exclusively the motivating factor in truly committed republicans and democrats. announcer: sunday night on c-span's q&a. announcer: on thursday, the national press club posted a panel discussion looking at the policy implications regarding hillary clinton's use of a personal e-mail account while serving as secretary of state. notable speakers included a former litigation director of the national archives and records administration and open government.org executive director. this runs one hour. >> good morning everybody.
i'm a national press club member. we have a very distinguished panel here today to focus and talk about the the hillary clinton e-mails that stirred up the media and is continuing to be a focus point. if you go to press.org, you can get all the details about our national press club. if you're not a member, consider becoming a member because we have more than 3000 members all over the world.
with that, let me introduce our panel. mr. jason baron. he is a friend of our press club. we have ms. patrice, ms. liz and mr. tom. he has written the book and has brought it with him. let me start with mr. baron with his opening remarks. jason: privileged to be here. on march 3, the new york times published a story about ms. clinton and i was quoted as saying "it is difficult to perceive a scenario short of nuclear winter where agency would be justified to allow this officer to solely use private e-mail communications channels for the conduct of government
business." when i was first informed by mr. schmid of the new york times of the allegations regarding clinton's use of a private e-mail server, i was incredulous. whatever the original motive may have been that led former secretary of state clinton to adopt the use of a private server for government business it presumes that agencies set up adequate record-keeping controls to ensure that will be documentation of the activity of the agency. the average employee and average high-level official implicitly understands that these rules exist and do not need too much in the way of instruction.
their daily communications on matters of official business are conducted using approved government networks. the 2009 narrow regulations that were in effect during worst of test during most of ms. clinton's 10 year allowed for cases. agencies that allow employees to send him receive official electronic mail messages using a system not operated by the agency must ensure that federal records sent or received on such systems are preserved in the appropriate agency record-keeping system.
up until march 3, 2015, i would've imagined that few aspects of this regular sugar understood by officers and government. that steps agencies must take to ensure that e-mail records sent or received on a private system are making sure that all records are forwarded and preserved into an appropriate record-keeping system. no later than the date on which the employee or the official exits government. the fact that the 2014 amendment to the federal records act set an outside time of 20 days to forward e-mail help to clarify government policies and put an express date into fashion. it would be wrong to think that the policies in place during the first obama administration allow for any cabinet official to privately maintain tens of thousands of government records in his or her possession for months or years after exiting government. i am glad that a substantial number of e-mails, 30,000 or so, have now been returned into government custody. i remain mystified by the fact that the use of a private e-mail account apparently went unnoticed or unremarked upon during a four-year tenure in office of the former secretary. where was everyone?
is there any record indicating that any lawyer, any records person, any high-level official ever respectfully confronted the former secretary with reasonable questions about the practice of sending e-mails from a private account? it is unfathomable to me that this would not have been noticed and reported up the chain or reported to the state inspector general during all of this time. in my view, there has been an institutional failure to challenge what became a strained and unreasonable reading of existing policies. we will get into the important directive and other measures
that are outstanding to try to improve government during the remainder of this hour but that is my opening statement. host: let's go to the ladies. patrice: i'm patrice mcdermott. tom is one of the founding directors of our coalition. it works to make government more open, get better access to government information and push back on secrecy. when i first came to washington, i worked at the national archives. when i left the archives to go to omb watch which has now changed names, one of the first people i got to know was tom blanton. you are at carnegie building at that point. this was right around the time of the armstrong case, which was about how electronic records
how e-mail records were supposed to be handled in the government. i think a lot of our problems date back to that case. we can go into that in more detail. i think the key, because the government was told how to handle e-mail but it was not told how to handle it same way as correspondence or memos or other files that were created by the government. not by the office of the person that created them. i think this case has highlighted and really broken loose the problem that exists across big government. that problem is that very few agencies, if any, are managing their e-mail in any sort of record-keeping system. they are not managing it systematically. this is been a problem for many years.
i can talk about reports that were done and works that the archives did in the late 2000's. it is stunning but it is not isolated. it did not begin in this administration. it goes back through all of the administrations that have been on e-mail. it goes back to the managing of our electronic records, not just e-mail correspondence.
we were all as shocked as jason and as disturbed but it has served as a salutary moment to force government to actually look at what they are doing. i think the pressure is going to be on all of us to keep that attention focused. it is going to drift away all too soon. host: thank you. liz: i'm with arma international, a professional membership association that serves those in the records and information management and governments community. we are a membership of 27,000 individuals. a large portion of those are in the united states. i'm their director for government affairs insomuch that arma believes good information policy ought to be throughout all organizations. we also follow issues within the federal government. we believe the federal government has the ability to be a catalyst for good information governance practices throughout our nation.
when we look at federal practices as they currently stand, we see there are holes. as far as it relates to the issue of secretary clinton's e-mails, it is not that surprising. it is not surprising because the government has used insufficient approaches to information government. an example would be e-mail records are records. if they have the information that ought to be kept. until the government looks systematically at the way they preserved their information and look at information holistically, these issues will continue to pop up. secretary clinton is not the first secretary of state who has managed their e-mail in a way that we would look at as
insufficient, meaning that those should all be within an e-mail capture system and looked at holistically. what that tells us is, the government of to this point, has holes in how they manage information. it is our hope that we can help from the private sector help the government as they bring best practices up to speed. there is work on information governance initiatives. we have announced that we have come together as a coalition with five other organizations. our hope in the coalition is that we can support the government's efforts to bring their records management practices up to speed and bring our private sector know-how into the government and not just the government but for federal practitioners who are doing this work that are challenged every
day with insufficient funding and support. it is our hope that we could make a small dent as our government looks at governance practices. host: thank you. tom: i'm tom blanton, the director of the national security archives and the author of that book. it is, i should remind you, 20 years old. it has a little floppy disk in
the back of everything that was cut from my book by my editors which i insisted had to be published so we put it on a disk. you now cannot buy a computer that can read that little disk which is a part of the challenge of preserving e-mail. i want to disagree with jason as i've been doing so for 25 years, ever since we appeared in court against jason who was representing the government in our lawsuit to save white house e-mails. i would say that the scandal is not a private server. the scandal is the state of government e-mail record-keeping. the silver lining of the entire issue is missing. without mrs. clinton's private server, state.gov likely not have saved any or a mere fraction of the 30,000 e-mails she has turned over. that is how bad the e-mail record-keeping system is.
from my point of view, that is the headline of this issue. when you ask, using a private server, that is terrible practice, i agree. the problem is, everybody does it. 88 staff members president george w. bush used private national committee servers to run their accounts. colin powell used aol.com for his e-mail, not state.gov. governor jeb bush of florida who has posted online over 100,000 of his e-mails as governor, it turns out those were all hosted on a private server in the governor's office that mr. bush took with him when he left office. private servers are what everyone has done.
it is actually against the law. you should not do it. it is bad practice, but everybody does it. my bet is that mrs. clinton asked, what did everybody do and said, we will do that. why did she get away with that? that is the tougher question. where were the watchers? it is the lesson of our original lawsuit. our first director, scott armstrong, armstrong v. clinton, that is more we wanted in 1993. over 30 million e-mails. president george w. bush, -- we brought a new lawsuit. against another president, a guy named obama. the obama white house put in an archiving system so the white house is practically the only agency in the entire federal government that say's it e-mail it electronically even though the courts ruled against jason's best efforts that e-mail not only were records but if you did not save it electronically, if you saved it printing and filing which is what the national archive's policy was for 25 years, it degraded the record.
now, we're in a situation where all those printed and filed e-mails, of which no one knows how many exist. we have had some produced in free information requests and so forth. as files are now going to have to be -- the taxpayer is going to pay for them to be re-digitized and uploaded into electronic systems. what you had is a dereliction of duty by the national archives of the united states by every agency had, including mrs. clinton when she was secretary of state. it was her responsibility to see that records were saved. that is the scandal.
host: thank you. we can see that we have some great journalists here. before i open the floor to q and a, i would like you to mention your name, your organization and be loud and clear. please no opinion pieces here. just stay with the questions. >> i'm charlie clark with government executives media group. could you talk about mrs. clinton's attorney.
he has asserted that no laws were violated. could you analyze his arguments? jason: it is clear there has been inconsistent action with the underlying expectations of the federal records act and the narrow regulations in several respects. good lawyers can attempt to parse language well. the 2009 regs say that e-mails have to be kept in an appropriate record-keeping system. everyone understood that to mean by the time that an individual -- either contemporaneously sends the messages or by the last day in office of that individual. there is an inconsistency with the regs.
the fact that 30,000 or so e-mails have been sent back cures the defect in substantial part but there are questions about whether we have gotten all of them and whether the actions were appropriate at the time. the larger point -- i agree with much of what tom says. i think all of us in government have treated the e-mail with -- effectively that it is like groundhog day, the movie with bill murray. every day waking up, the government has adjusted. we hoped that individuals throughout government would comply with what are in the code offender regulations. what we all came to believe is that we have a large compliance problem, much in agreement with tom. we needed to move forward. i'm happy that we have this forum here. what i did not get to but want
to emphasize to everyone here is that the obama administration has done something significant. in 2011, president obama issued a managing government records memorandum to all executive agencies saying that we live in a technological era. we have to get smarter about federal record-keeping. he threw down the gauntlet and it issued the managing governance directive. by december 31, 2016, all federal agencies must manage their e-mail in an accessible electronic format. no more print to paper as the default policy that tom and i, patrice and liz, we all get it.
it is difficult for people to comply with and do it on more than an occasional basis. the managing of electronic e-mail will be the first priority in that directive. the second, by december 31st 2019, all federal agencies need to begin ensuring that permanent records of the u.s. government are in a digital or electronic format so they can be added to the national archives. no more paper on a day forward basis going into the national archives after 2019. on records created after the end of this decade, they are expected, if they are appraised as permanent under records
schedules, they will be in digital or electronic format. that is an inflection point in the history of archives. a very big deal for this administration to put forward. there are hundreds of thousands of people that will be affected by these policies who create permanent records in government. the last point i want to make is that the capstone policy at the national archives has put forth is a step forward beyond print to paper or the failed methods of the past. what the capstone policy, if implemented by agencies by december 31 2016 will say, the top level of e-mail communications from senior government officials will be presumptively decreed to be permanent with everyone else's e-mails saved or captured for some period of time. recently, a drafted general records schedule into terms.
you will have a permanent set of e-mails that would include mrs. clinton's e-mails if she had used inappropriate system and every cabinet official would be captured under a capstone policy. these are good developments. i would like to think that the obama administration should be applauded for their steps forward in recognizing something beyond the veil policies of the past. patrice: i think one of the major problems since 1995 has been the adoption of the trust but do not verify. the presumption has been that agencies will do what the regs said and would do it appropriately. that has not happened.
there were studies done that the current archivist asked for from the agencies in the late to thousands -- in the late 2000's. these agencies assessed that 90% of the records were at risk of loss. they stopped doing that after a few years. i absolutely agree that the steps that this white house took with the archives are significant. it took a lot of struggle to get them there. we have been told with regard to for you and other things by this administration that when we complain to them about what is happening with foya, they say these directives are not self implementing. that is the problem.
the statute that was passed in november, the directives, the capstone's are not going to be self implementing. it is going to take oversight to make sure that agencies actually address these problems. they are significant problems. jason is right that the capstone proposal, i urge all of you to take a look at it, would allow agencies to designate top officials whose e-mail would be presumptively saved. in my community it was huge, the proposal that the cia put forward. out of 22,000 officials, they need 20 whose e-mail would be saved permanently. that not only got our community
up in arms, it got members of the intelligence committee up in arms because the senate torture report, the executive summary, was heavily reliant on those e-mails. the ones they were able to get access to. the director of modern records went through the executive summary. he may have had access to the full report. line by line and made note of what was important. they asked cia to withdraw -- that is the risk. that somebody has to be paying attention. the openness community tries. it is something the white house, nora, the ig's and the press
need to be paying attention to. this is in the weeds. it is generally not something that gets people's attention. this is history. at risk of going away. liz: from the perspective of those in the information governance community, what i think is important is to drill down into -- it is not just agencies that -- it is not an issue that nara ought to have done something differently. there continues to be a barrier to focusing on information governance holistically. what nara has been doing his groundbreaking for the government. imagine a private organization saying everyone's e-mail has to
be retained by printing it and then we're going to file it. anyone in the private sector would say that is not a good use of our resources. it technically eliminates a lot of the information through metadata in terms of best practices. it is hard to get the ship righted. we are getting there. i can speak for a number of records and information practitioners i have spoken with, it is hard for them to get attention. it is hard for them to talk to their superiors, let alone their ig's or the heads of those agencies and impress on them the importance of their work.
it is largely gone unnoticed. it is a battle for people within the agencies to do the job they are hired to do because it is not something that has been looked at as important until secretary clinton's e-mails come to issue or the issues we saw -- the interests with the irs or the epa. that makes a good headline and it brings to light issues we have faced for a long time. until we pay more attention to this issue, we will see secretary clinton's coming up again. we will see these headlines. why haven't things changed? the directive goes a long way in doing that. one of the items that jason had not mentioned was the office of personal management was asked to put out a job classification
series for those doing federal work. this is way in the weeds but it represents an important mile marker in that the federal government is recognizing that their federal employees are doing a specific job that requires specific skill sets and a specific knowledge base. can you imagine being qualified as administrative and other duties when you are actually trying to put together an e-mail retention schedule or policies? you're not even recognized in terms of an hr perspective as having specific skill sets. that is what up to this point has happened. they are small strides but good strides. representatives cummings' bill that changed fra took us leaps and bounds. they allowed us to look at electronic records as physical records. we were looking at definitions of records from the 1950's. the way our industry has worked in the private sector has
changed in the last month, the last year, the last five years. the federal government had not kept up as they were barriers because it is not something you look at. is not that sexy. it is in the weeds. everyone here is now wondering what other private practices for their organizations and that their inboxes probably too full. it is a challenge that will keep coming up until our government has the resources and empowers those who are doing it not only with changes to regulations but also funding. the state department does not have, to my knowledge, an electronic e-mail capture system. most agencies do not.
it is very expensive to put that in. it takes a lot of work to do that. if you're going to implement capstone, it is taking them seven to eight years to graduate into making sure that is an entire policy throughout their agency. it is a lot of work and it is a skill set. and it is money. until we look at those and have our agency inspector generals and heads of agency focus on it, we will keep talking on it. i welcome the opportunity to keep talking about it, but i hope not. host: there was one interesting word that got mentioned. as a journalist, that is one thing we are looking forward to. f-o-i-a. we need information. i would ask tom and jason, what
do they think is the present condition about these requests at the state department and other government agencies? if there are some specific people whose e-mails are permanently kept and the rest destroyed, how do we get an honest answer to and foia request? tom: president nixon's secretary fell on her sword and took responsibility for an 18.5 minute gap in one of the key watergate tapes.
she said she accidentally had her foot on the pedal of the transcription machine while she reached over her left shoulder to pick up the phone for a phone call and that produced the gap. for government e-mail, we will have a 30 year gap in the historical record. the white house, national security council used e-mail systematically starting in 1985.
the total numbers and volume are getting enormous. only a few hundred thousand individual messages saved from the reagan years. the white house has become the gold standard for saving because of a series of lawsuits. at every other agency, and let's just look at the state department. i have so much sympathy for the project director who tried to get it going. an e-mail archiving system. the acronym is smart. the smart system. he probably worked years to get this thing into place and come up to a standard that instead by state department's regulations in 1995 in reaction to my book i'm sure. the reality when the state department went into look at that smart system to see how much is being saved, he concluded practically nothing. this contradicted mrs. clinton's
statements that she sent most of her state.gov e-mails so they would be saved. the system was not working. the inspector general tried to figure out, why weren't people using the smart system. it might've been because mrs. clinton was not using the smart system. that comes back to charlie's first question, did mrs. clinton break the law? the hard answer to the question is, yes and no. it is a hard answer. it is no because there was no prohibition on use of a private server. as jason recognizes, moving those 30,000 e-mail messages to state begins to cure this deficit. the answer is, yes broke the law, because the federal records act has been around for decades and it puts the responsibility on the head of every agency to have a record system that saves its historically valuable records. ms. clinton did not do that. there is going to be a 30 year gap in the record. jason: let me address the foia aspect of this. the fact that e-mails were sent
to a.gov address begs the question of, which.gov address. if there is a.gov address at state, we did talk about it before you officer would be asking enough questions to make sure state response by searching the e-mail addresses of users in state. if the.gov address that was used went to a different agency, a foia respect to the state department would not capture that.gov. it would be a.gov someplace else. one would need to file a foia request with that other agency. there is a foia dimension of this controversy which is important.
the foia offices are not leaders in technology. what we need is to have a high-level conversation, what we in the private sector call information governance. to have a conversation with government senior executives officials, people who are like a cio, a cfo of agencies, to empower foia offices with the tools to do adequate searches across all of the e-mail that exists on networks. the capstone policy factors into a better foia world in the future.
if agencies were capturing all of the high level e-mails of individual officers in government as permanent records, that would be a repository that a foia requester would expect the officer to go to. the officer would know, we have a capstone repository for e-mail. we should start there with respect to government records. if agencies are saving everyone's e-mail for some period of time, whatever the bottom line is, and then temporary e-mails are disposed of for all of the non-capstone accounts, at least one could file a request and have confidence that for some period of time, all e-mail could be searched. we need to have repositories in place. we need to have better search tools. i've been on the soapbox in the legal space for the last 15 years to make sure that lawyers understand that there are smarter tools to do searching across digital objects. we should have that conversation in government as it goes forward to improve foia. if you improve record-keeping actresses, you get a leg up -- practices, you get a leg up to respond to legitimate foia requests. host: next question. >> my name is bill earle.
a former federal cfo. the budget is not there to do what you are talking about. when we would go to congress and asked for money to fund the foia office, we were regularly shut down. the question for you and the panel is, we're talking about e-mails, which in some ways is an archaic form of communicating these days. people are communicating by text messages now. they're talking to siri and having that transcribed into messages of various types. i think the other parallel is the body cameras on police officers. a body camera on the police
officer, will we have a microphone on people to record conversations as well? i think the body camera records conversations, not just video. does that get extended to every federal employee to capture that interaction? host: thank you for that question. i will let tom or jason say a few words. jason: you are right that we are in a world of social media beyond e-mail. there are billions of e-mails sent in the government. it is still an important means of communication although there
are others. the federal records act applies no matter what the application is, whether it is social media tweeting, messages, video. if it is appropriate for preservation as government business, it is a temporary record or federal record. the government needs to figure out ways of preserving not e-mail digital communications. as for the cost point, this is a conversation we could have off-line. there is a tremendous push in this administration for cloud computing. my challenge to every federal agency is, if you are getting on the train to do cloud computing, putting e-mail of the mccloud and lots of data in the cloud, you could build in record management considerations on the front end of those procurements. it can be done at minimal cost in the delta. the extra cost to a cloud computing environment is
relatively modest. i agree that there are costs involved but it is not as much as you think. tom: to further that point, we give and award every year made after rosemary woods. we give it to agencies for the worst open government performance. this year, the repeat winners were the chief information councils of the government. $81 billion a year of our money on information services hardware systems and the like. if they do not bake in, as jason says, their legal requirements of preserving and accessing
freedom of information requests, we are wasting money. they are wasting our money. we have to do that. there is plenty of money to do this. if you do it on the front end, you can maintain for long-term. of the same thing will have to be done with social media and tweets. i would add one piece of the puzzle. it is a huge universe but the reality today with the cost of computer storage declining and the power of search engines increasing, we are in a place -- i used to make a joke, there was an old magazine called soldiers of fortune. it had a bumper sticker, kill them all, let god sort them out. fascinating idea for records
management, save them all and let the algorithms figure it out. it is not hard to manage it electronically and use tools to separate it out by the kind of line that the capstone proposes. i think there are opportunities for partnerships. the reason we know that a separatist leader bragged about shooting down of a plane in ukraine that turned up to be the malaysian jetliner is because the internet archive's in san francisco saved that social media tweet and it was taken down off the facebook or the equivalent of facebook page almost immediately but it has been saved and you can find it.
i think that kind of approach to federal records management is the way out. it is not a cost matter. host: thank you. liz wants to say something. liz: from an information management and governance perspective, a record is a record regardless of if it is a tweet, paper. we're glad the federal records act now shows you can capture anything electronically. we are not talking about just e-mail but electronic communications of any sort. this highlights the fact that, when you go to congress and you are an agency and they say there is not the funding for the technology to support you, it highlights what i was mentioning earlier. there has been a fundamental gap in the way that our government approaches information governance practices.
if it is possible to bake in this technology upfront, why is it not happening? the answer is, those at the top level are not paying attention. they are not incentivized to pay attention according to regulations. you have the national archives which is trying their darndest to bring to light that these issues need to be paid attention to. it is still not happening. i was listening to one federal practitioner from an agency that will go unnamed talk about their efforts to meet the 2016 deadline in managing e-mail electronically. to still think that blows my mind. she had to go to their technology office and say, we need some sort of system that will capture this. they had no money for her, even though they are trying to reach
a deadline that is essentially put forth by the memorandum and the white house. she got really creative and found a piece of technology that their office had acquired and was not using. the technology office did not know it existed until they went through some version of the rolodex of what do we own. she said, that will work. they made it work. i do not know if those opportunities exist in every organization, but you have good federal practitioners who are trying, in spite of challenges put forth, to bring their agency up to speed. host: some journalists are e-mailing me as they could not make it here.
they are watching it on c-span. our panel suggested this happened over and over before clinton's case. why the flag was never raised? is it benghazi? is it that she might run for president? what can we do to keep it in focus so that we have these foia requests fulfilled? what do you look into your crystal ball to give it life? jason: i hope that the issue does not go away. the mandate of 2016 is not going away, regardless of who our next president is. the important point is that this
does give attention to what good government issues involving the history of this country. i think it is a moment where there are a lot of people in this room watching. we do not usually have a conversation about narrow regulations and capstone policies that gets the attention of the public at large and the press. i think there is a moment that this controversy has served well. we need to have that conversation. we need to talk about saving e-mail in an electronic form so you can have a more accessible government. i will do everything i can in the forums that i participate in, and i -- how to talk to the government about federal records
act accountability and standards. we need the press to be pursuing the story of how the government is doing with respect to the archivist directive. there are a lot of directives issued. this is very important. it is important to journalists because getting the record-keeping issue right really assists getting government accountability right in terms of accessible records to foia requests. we live in a digital world. the power of the algorithms that tom is talking about are a great thing. we have tremendous opportunities to improve government over the next few years, not just with respect to e-mail but with respect to all forms of records that are in digital form. i think we should seize this moment to move the conversation forward. i would also say that i would
hope that the archivist of the united states, whether through testimony in front of congress or on his own initiative would lead that effort. there are many ways and good people in this town that want to assist the archivist in making sure that the 2016 and 2019 mandates are fulfilled. tom: the e-mail issue is sort of like the return of the locusts. about every seven or eight years, it will pop up again. eight years ago, chairman henry waxman was holding hearings about use of e-mail, hasn't it been saved, working out negotiations with lawyers to
recover e-mails from rnc servers although the vast majority turned out to be destroyed. 88 top officials of the bush white house have been using that as their main e-mail system. that was eight years ago. before that, the transition in the bush administration where you had whistleblower saying they have gotten rid of the archiving system clinton put in. you had us winning the lawsuit in 1993. you back to 1987 and you have the tower board report a stone e-mail from backup tapes. the locusts come back and e-mail is on the front page again. ms. clinton is now the poster child for the necessity to save the stuff. let's hope that gooses more change across this government. patrice: i agree with jason and tom. i would also note, i spent a lot
of time in the last few months explaining nara regulations, explaining the basics of the government's record-keeping policy to journalists. i would hope that this does not die and that it does not die because of the press. i would also hope that the same amount of time that is put into training journalists on foia and the importance of it that at least an equivalent amount of time or some percentage of that amount of time would go into training journalists in what the statutes are, what the regulations are. we do not have many beat journalists anymore were looking at the agencies. that is a huge problem because nobody is paying attention