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tv   Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson Remarks to Association of the U.S....  CSPAN  October 17, 2015 1:38pm-2:25pm EDT

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i think we're pretty much on the same page. david: with that, please join me in thanking john and bill. [applause] we would appreciate it if you could pick up the papers and coffee cups at your feet. there is recycling outside. thank you very much. tonight on c-span, editorial cartoonists discuss how they covered the george w. bush and administration. it is part of a conference on the bush administration hosted by hofstra university in new york. here, steve reed draws one of his favorite cartoons from the bush presidency. so i'mew disorganized that fighting cartoons that were 10-12 years
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like rumsfeld, he has a small nose and big c hin, and condoleezza rice -- and beady eyes --, has the big forehead, ird thing.e, and we are t i drew them cards into the side into the side of a mountain, and the caption was, ."ount rush to war t
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you can watch that tonight at 8:30 p.m. eastern. homeland security jeh johnson talked about threats to national security recently at the armyiation for the u.s. annual meeting. the security review and vetting process for searing refugees resettling in the u.s. this is 35 minutes. [applause] secretary johnson: this is my second address. somebody may get the impression that i like the army, i do.
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as usual, i've taken my prepared it, said, that is very interesting, and prepared my own remarks, which means i will tell you what i really think, within limits. i asked my staff last week, what ausa? i say to the very simple, just tell them how great the army is, you love the army. ladies and gentlemen, i'm here to tell you you are great, the army is great, i love the army. why do i say that? for real. when i left the department of defense at the end of 2012, as lawyer for the department defense, i was back in private law practice.
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perhaps the things i miss the most about public service was the character and quality of the thele that i worked with in department of defense and the military -- the character and quality of the people with whom i worked. 04, 06 -- justan with in the united states army, i've come to know, respect, and admire a number of people. retired general hamm, for example. general tony thomas. these are people that i worked onh on a daily basis, almost a daily basis for two years. someone in the joint staff,
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a known army major, i will not name him, because he would be embarrassed if i did, would come and greet me about counterterrorism matters. he did his job, he was modest, he did it well. reassigned, someone told me about this army major. he had broken his back when his ,arachute failed to open lost his leg, was shot in the back, and had been victim to three attacks in afghanistan. run young man went on to
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triathlons and races. that is the quality and character of the people in today's united states army, which i find remarkable. it is the thing that i miss the most of public service, which is pleased to be is back in public service. i have the job of secretary of homeland security. general manager -- many sure people here know s.igadier martin he is today our chief prosecutor at guantanamo bay. i got to know mark as an advisor. i spent time with mark in afghanistan when he was dealing with detainee matters in
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afghanistan. base in 2011, and was shown around the base. nighttime cell. we were about to hit the sack after a long day. martin's general finished first in his class at , and brigadier martin's asked me what i thought was a profound deep question coming from a rhodes scholar. he said, sir, look up to the sky, the night sky, what occurs to you? i looked up, i looked up at the stars above. it was a clear night at the air
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base. martin'sd what general was thinking of. i search for a deeper meaning to his question. i thought about the brave men and women surrounding us, and i thought about the inspirational words -- i'm a student of history -- the inspirational words of winston churchill. i answered general martin's with a quote from winston churchill, "we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and the streets, we shall fight in the hills, we shall never surrender." replied, "looks up again, what really occurs to sky?hen you look up at the
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i thought of fdr's inspirational words on d-day, of the united states army, the so-called pride of our nation remarks. "they fight not for the rest of conquest, they fight to end conquest, they fight to liberate, they fight to let justice arrived, and tolerance ,nd goodwill amongst all people for the end of the battle, for a return to their home." i said to general martin, how about that? , what areook up again you really thinking, what really occurs to you? finally, i thought of john f. inspirational words and 19 cc three at american university about the inherent nature of armed conflict and international
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tension. june 1963, uttered these words that i gave in hope of answer his very profound question. art most common link is that we all inhabit this hannah, we all cherish our children's future, and we are all mortar." -- mortal." said, what really occurs to you when you look at the afghan sky? i said, i give up. tent.d, someone stole our the army is great. the army's family to me. some of you may be interested to know that my grandfather was a sergeant major and a, veteran in world war i. y father was an army
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sergeant during the korean war. i had two uncles who were tuskegee airmen. when i say the army is great, i love the army. .y words are matched by deeds i'm stealing people from the united states army. [applause] constantine johnson, now my secretary of affairs. florez works directly for me. dr. jennifer mcdonald, my andent white house fellow, army physician. p berger, who i'm sure many of you know. one of my cyber security experts. it is the case that the army and department of homeland security have worked together closely on
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a number of matters. corps of engineers, the army guard, when it comes to disaster response, for example. i saw this in person in south carolina last week. when it comes to the department of homeland security, i am a native new yorker. i was present on 9/11 in new york city, o in manhattan that day, when i was in the private sector, before my service with the department of defense. i witnessed the tragedy of 9/11, the devastating and tragic terrorist attack. it was out of 9/11 that the department homeland security was born, and my commitment to lead the department of homeland security, and my commitment to the department of homeland security, was born. as many of you know, the department of homeland
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security is the third-largest apartment of our government. we have about 240,000 people, 22 components. we are responsible for, among other things, along with our partners, counterterrorism, court security, aviation security, maritime ofurity, enforcement immigration laws, detection of chemical, biological, and other threats to the homeland, response to disasters, natural and man-made. the director of fema is here. and, protection of our national leaders. we include customs and border , immigration customs and enforcement, citizenship services, tsa, secret service, the coast guard, and fema. i want to take a moment to highlight the extraordinary work of the secret service and other
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elements of the department of homeland security just a few weeks ago. ,ust a few weeks ago, we had what many would consider the perfect storm, in terms of the protection of visiting heads of state, heads of government. we had, in mid-september, 170 world leaders and espouses in this country, in your city, pretty much all of the same time. the responsibility, believed responsibility for protecting them all, was the united states secret service. we had the president of china, leaders from afghanistan, iraq, iran, israel, the united kingdom, france, italy, russia, and of course, the pope, all in this country at the same time. no other agency of our government, except for the secret service -- no other
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protection service in the world could have pulled off what the secret service did, probably the securityomestic operation in the history of this country -- flawlessly and perfectly, with other components of the department of homeland security, hsi, fema, the coast guard. i am awfully proud of what our folks have done. hereuntold that the topic -- i am told that the topic here is to win in a complex world. that is the theme of this conference. i cannot agree more that that is what we, in the department land security, find is our challenge too. winning in a complex world. i have spoken many times about
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the new reality of the evolving global terrorist threat. there is a new reality to the threats to the homeland, which you and i are responsible for guarding. it is a new reality. the global terrorist threat has evolved from terrorist directed to terrorist inspired attacks. when i say terrorist directed attacks, i mean attacks or attempted attacks conducted by people who were recruited, trained, or equipped overseas and directed by a terrorist organization overseas, and then exported to our homeland. the most prominent example of a terrorist directed attack in this vein is of course 9/11. the operatives were trained, recruited, and directed overseas
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, and exported to our homeland. then, the attempted underwear bombing in detroit. the attempted times square car bombing. the attempted package bomb plot. these are examples of what are likely -- what were likely terrorist directed attacks from those overseas. , in addition to that threat, the threat of terrorist inspired attacks from those who are homegrown, or even home born. iranian insulae no longer makes bonds in secret, they now put out an instruction manual. we see the threat of the
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potential lone wolf actor and the foreign fighter. the foreign fighter who leads their home country, and goes to syria, for example, and returns purpose.a terrorist in this new wave of attacks and attempted attacks, terrorist inspired, calls conducted by those who may be homegrown, home born. the boston marathon bombing. the attack in ottowa on the parliament building, almost exactly one year ago. the attack on the charlie hebdo in paris.rs , orgarland, texas attack attempted attack. and of course, chattanooga. this is the new reality of what we face. morerist inspired,
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complex, it has led to a more complex world, and in many respects, harder to detect. our government has become pretty good at detecting overseas plots at the early stages. the homegrown actor could strike at any moment, and is inspired by something he sees. this threat is, in many respects, more complicated, and harder to detect. it involves a horrible government response. what are we doing? first, we continue to, as we take the fightt, militarily to overseas terrorist organizations, and through our efforts, and efforts of the united states army and others, of the fight out
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by killing and capturing many of the leaders of terrorist organizations, and those who have been plotting directly to attack the homeland. osama bin laden is dead, was killed on may 1, 2011. if 9/11 were my worst day as an american, being present in your, my best day was may 1, two dozen 11, the day we got osama bin laden. other terrorist leaders have been taken off the battle field. others have been killed or captured. we have, to a very large degree, been successful in degrading the terrorist threat to our homeland from overseas. there is much more than we need to do, given how this terrorist threat has evolved. has aforcement, the fbi
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key role in this. the fbi, almost on a daily basis has become there a good at detecting, investigating, terrorist plots abroad and at home. it has become all the more important that the department of homeland security and the fbi, given how this threat has evolved, work closely with and share intelligence with state and local law enforcement, which we do on a daily basis through joint intelligence bulletins, and the like, in response to the attack last year in ottawa, i directed that we enhance our protection of federal government holdings in major cities around the country. that enhance protection continues to exist today. much of the terrorist threat, as
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it evolved, centers around aviation security. we are building what we refer to as preclearance, a preclearance capability, where on the front end of a flight from overseas to the united states, you will see our customs personnel screening passengers before they get on flights to the homeland. every opportunity i any opportunity i have to push out our homeland security, i want to take it. we are establishing preclearance capability. we have done this in 15 airports overseas. as a result of preclearance, including some who have been in our databases. we want to build more, so we have engaged in discussions with a number of authorities around the country and this is something we will continue to build.
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administrator, we are implementing reforms to our aviation security, both in response to the inspector general's report the summer and other things. when it comes to aviation security, there is a new emphasis on security that the administrator and i have directed in the field, frankly less managed inclusion. what does that mean? less instances when you go to the airport and you are not a member of tsa pre-check, you get put in line anyway. we want to renew an emphasis on security, so we're stepping up the effort and hopefully it will not sacrifice wait times. there's a renewed effort on security.
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in response to the concern about foreign fighters, we have done a number of things. a number of foreign fighters come from countries from which we do not require a visa, european countries are in our visa waiver program. there are 38 countries that -- through which we do not require a visa. out of concern for security, we have added information request. whenever anyone travels to this country, they are required to fill out additional information. last august, i announced security measures to our waiver program to require countries in our program to make or use of passenger name recognition data and advanced passenger information. we are requiring countries in
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the visa waiver program make better use of interpol to make better use of our federal air marshals on flights from overseas to the united states. as the new reality has emerged and the global terrorist threat has evolved, we are asking the public for help. if you see something, say something has to be more than a slogan. we are asking the public for help, public awareness, and public vigilance. i will tell you that we are considering revising our systems, the national threat advisory system, which we have never used. we left the color-coded bars to a system which we have never used. i have asked our folks to consider whether we should
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revise that system to accommodate how the terrorist threat has evolved. that review is underway now. importantly, given how the terrorist threat has evolved, we have embarked on aggressive efforts at what we refer to as counter environment extremism. -- countering violent extremism. that means members of my department, the fbi and other departments literally go out into communities, muslim communities in this country to talk to them about countering violent extremism. i personally traveled to boston, new york city, suburban maryland, l.a., houston, columbus, ohio and elsewhere to meet with leaders of the muslim community.
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our conversations are almost always three-pronged. first, to listen to them about issues they face at airports, with our immigration system, and to build trust with this community. i hear repeatedly from muslim leaders in this country the hatred that they feel for the islamic state. they say over and over to me, mr. secretary, they are trying to hijack my religion. my message to them is help us help you when it comes to public safety. help us protect the homeland and your communities. if you see someone heading toward violence, let us know. help us to help you. in my view, with we must enhance our cbe effort given where we
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are now even how the threat to our homeland security has evolved. two weeks ago, i announced the creation of an office for community partnerships to spearhead and lead our efforts within the department of homeland security. we want to take efforts to a new level and encourage the participation of the tech sector. we want to help muslim leaders to counter the isis message and develop our own grantmaking programs to provide resources and support to communities engaged. just a few more words on cyber security. i have directed an aggressive plan to enhance our federal civilian cyber security. it is not where it needs to be.
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i directed an aggressive timetable for the civilian system in terms of monitoring, detecting, and blocking suspicious and unwanted intrusions our system. this system is deployed across half of our civilian and has blocked hundreds of thousands of efforts to infiltrate and exfiltrate data. we are urging the passage of cyber security legislation in this congress. the house has passed a good bill and the senate is considering a good bill. my hope is that the senate bill comes to the floor for debate and passage this month. there is an urgent need for help from congress when it comes to
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our cyber security efforts. we want to encourage the private sector to share cyber threat indicators with the department of homeland security. even for the most sophisticated of private cyber security actors among you in the defense and industrial base, benefits from information sharing. we want to encourage that. the pending legislation is a good way to do that. we hope for the passage of that legislation so that it becomes law. when the president of china was here, we reached an agreement with the chinese government on some cyber security norms and an agreement to combating cybercrime. an agreement that the theft of commercial property for
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commercial purposes by a state actor is in proper. time will tell whether the chinese will in up to these agreements. we have created a ministerial level dialogue on my side and our side, represented by the secretary of homeland security. we want greater partnership and our cyber security efforts. in terms of border security, chief fisher and his fisher saw only about 332,000 apprehensions on our southern border this past fiscal year. apprehensions are an indicator of total illegal attempts to cross the border. the misperception in this country is that illegal crossings on our southern
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border, on our southern border is that they are going up. the reality is they have been going down dramatically. the high was fiscal year 2000, where there were 1.6 million apprehensions on our southern border. in recent years, it has gone down to about 450,000 stop this past fiscal year, the apprehension number on the southern order was 479,000. this past year, 15, the number will come in at a proximately 331,000. which, 1972, is the lowest number of apprehensions we have seen with the exception of one year for this is the result of a number of our border security efforts, including the investment our government has made, more personnel, more surveillance, more technology.
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that must also be the future, to strengthen even more our border security efforts. i have directed our immigration enforcement personnel go after the criminals, invest the time in the interior to go after threats to public safety so there are fewer undocumented criminals on our streets. we are engaged in our efforts for the department of homeland security which has involved more centralized decision-making, fewer stove pipes, fewer component stovepipes, more centralized decision-making when it comes to budget and acquisition decisions.
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i have directed our new under secretary, a former johnson & johnson executive to warm our act decision process. -- to reform our acquisition process. we are building a homeland security industrial base, reforming our acquisition process for our 12-year-old department. most of all, we are just about helping people, like the united states army. a reminder of that for me was last friday in south carolina, inspecting the cleanup efforts from the floods. every time i do this, i'm reminded of the basic mission of the department of homeland security to help the people all of this country. so, in south carolina and other places where disaster has hit,
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the governor, senators, congressmen and myself, the president of red cross, to basically help people devastated by floods. the loss of their homes. that is what we are all about, helping people. more than political ideology, we are public servants. three thoughts i want to be with in my prepared remarks. first, the eking for the department of homeland security, we need the congress to repeal sequestration. i cannot do my job as the person responsible with a decapitated budget. i cannot do all the things congress and the american old need us to do for border
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security, response to national disasters, cyber security, maritime security with a sequestered budget. we are urging congress to repeal sequestration. homeland security is the front line to national security. homeland security is the frontline to our national defense. homeland security is the department of government that interacts with the american public more than any other. 1.8 million people a day interact with tsa. but we cannot do our job with a sequestered budget. it is time to repeal sequestration. next, i want to repeat something i said last month in missouri at westminster college as part of
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the green foundation lecture series. the most famous lecture there was given by winston churchill himself in 1946 where he gave his iron curtain speech. in 1954, former president harry truman gave a green lecture entitled what hysteria does to us. i decided to go those remarks. i said all of us in public office, those who aspire to public office and command a microphone oh the public calm and responsible decision-making, not overheated proposal of superficial appeal. in a democracy, the former leads to smart and sustainable policy and the latter can lead to fear, hate, mission, precious, and -- suspicion, prejudice, and
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government overreach. this is especially true in matters of national security and homeland security. my final point is something that is consistent with the soldiers creed. there is a quote that is consistent with my mission -- "i am a guardian of freedom and the american way of life." that matches almost word for word what i tell audiences at almost the end of every speech i give. the army is not just the guardian of our safety, but the guardian of freedom and the american way of life. in homeland security, we must achieve a balance between basic visible security on the one hand and preserving our laws and
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values in a free society. homeland security means striking that balance. i am a guardian of one as the other. i can build you with all of our homeland security resources a fairly safe city, but it would resemble a prison. i can build you a perfectly safe commercial air flight, but nobody would be wearing any clothes, no one would the allowed to get up, no one would have anything eat, and no one would have carry-on luggage i can build you a perfectly safe e-mail system, but you would be limited to a conversation with 10 people without access to the internet. so, we can build more walls, we can interrogate more people, we can make everybody suspicious of each other, but, if we did, we
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would risk things that are most valuable to this nation. we are a nation where we cherish the freedom to associate, the freedom to travel, we cherish privacy, we cherish our laws, we cherish diversity. we cherish these basic freedoms and in the final analysis, those are the things that constitute our greatest strengths. thanks a lot. [applause] >> i think i am available to take a few questions. if anybody here is not shy. yes ma'am? >> i'm with cns news.
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could you address the syrian refugee crisis and how bringing them into this country affects homeland security? sec. johnson: yes. we have committed to resettling 10,000 syrian refugees in fiscal year 16. we are looking at more for fiscal year 17. by the end of 15, we will have resettled approximately 2000, so we want to do more. i am committed to doing that and ensuring those who are resettled are vetted properly and receive the appropriate security review. that means dedicating the resources to the increased number of refugees and making sure they are vetted against the right databases we have.
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we've gotten better over the last couple of years, but it is a time-consuming process and one of the challenges we will have is that we are not going to know a whole lot about the individual refugees who come forward from the u.n. high commission for resettlement and vetting, so it will be a challenge, but we are committed to doing it. it's meeting our international commitment for the sake of our homeland security, ensuring they get the right security review and i am committed to both. >> i'm bob baron, national defense reserve. as you may know, at one time, we had an active executive reserve comprised of senior meers of military and industry. for approximately the last 10
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years, none of us have been able to get any answers from our parent organization, who is in charge, where do we go and what do we do? we carry all the expenses. the only thing we utilize the military for was open seating at certain military training sessions. would you please tell me what happened to the national executive reserve? sec. johnson: the short answer is i don't know. but we'll look into it. i can tell you that outreach to the private sector to her to
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industry is a minority of mine for the sake of improving the manner in which we conduct business. part of our acquisition and reform efforts is to establish a council of experts to advise us on the acquisition process. i don't know the answer to your question, but i will certainly look into that. >> thank you for your remarks today. i want to ask what is being done at the enterprise level to solve the cross agency challenges we have faced for decades? sec. johnson: the communications challenges and meeting them is part of a unity of effort and initiative. the ability to communicate across components is pretty basic.
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as part of our unity of effort, less stovepiping, more centralized decision-making, improving our ability to communicate is a priority. thank you. i have time for one more. >> good morning. i'm staff sergeant campbell. i'm curious, where you are based right now? i'm at the pentagon. sec. johnson: the pentagon? i'm sorry. [laughter] sec. johnson: there was a great joke -- i'm sure that does not reflect upon you. a cab driver driving with a fair and the cab driver says that the awfully big building. how many people work in that building? he said about half. [laughter] >> no comment.
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i'm curious if there is an estimated cost bringing allotted number of syrian refugees over? sec. johnson: that's an interesting question. i don't know the estimated cost, but within dhs, the principal responsibility of vetting belongs to uscis, citizenship and immigration services which is a fee-based agency. with the exception of e-verify, cif does not get an appropriation for conducting its is this. cis does not get an appropriation for conducting its business. it depends on fees for its services. as no applicant to be a refugee. so they must pay for the vetting through the fee collections, so it is not an appropriate amount for congress. it is an agency of government that pays for itself through fees.

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