tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN November 20, 2015 10:00am-12:01am EST
questions. all of our topics asked about the law and what laws exist. that took some doing, but the laws are on the books. we then asked a parallel question, which had to do with a practice, how well the laws are implemented. that is more of a journalistic -- i would add that if you look at the project site, you will find if you click through the scorecardeach state's , you will find each specific question listed. an explanation of how he answered it, why we entered it, a list of who we talked to to come up with the answers, and specific citations of the relevant state law policy or executive order. host: that report can be found
at the website p ublicintegrity.org thank you for your time. gordon: thank you for having me. host: another program comes tomorrow morning. we will see you then. ♪ >> the special presidential -- fred will be briefing reporters from the state department this afternoon. he is expected to talk about the effort to combat isis. you will be able to watch that
on c-span starting at 2:00 p.m. eastern. a --y on you and reachm the first woman to the rank of four stars in the united states navy. i had only been a three-star, -- i wasor 11 months down in norfolk. i presumed it was about the next up i was going to. that is when he talked to me about, we are looking at you for being a four-star. here are opportunities where we think you would do well and in a 50 navy. >> life chief and naval operations michelle howard. she talks about become the first female first or admiral in the history of the navy. she also discusses her career in the navy, including the navy's mission to capture captain
richard phillips who is captured by somali pirates in 2009. >> i became head of the counter piracy task force. two days on the job, captain phillips was kidnapped. it was our responsibility as a task force to get him back and get him back safely. that was obviously a surprise mission at a challenge. >> sunday night at 8:00 eastern &a. pacific on c-span's q newsmakers,end on georgia congressman tom price the shares the budget committee will talk about budget and spending issues before congress. he will also delve into the syrian refugee crisis and paul ryan. on can watch newsmakers sunday at 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. the senate homeland security meeting held a hearing on last week's terror across in paris at
whether the u.s. should change its refugee process. richards of state and , wisconsinriguez senator ron johnson in about three hours. this hearing will come to order. i think it is appropriate that we begin today with a moment of silence out of respect to those individuals who have lost their lives in paris, beirut, and egypt just in the last three weeks as a result of isis's barbaric activities. a moment of silence, please. [no audio] thank you.
welcome our ranking member. when i took over chairman of this committee, working with senator carper, we developed a rather simple mission statement for the committee. it is simply too enhance the economic national security of america. we have committed ourselves to that. the threat of isis and islamic terror threatens both. we have seen the loss of life repeatedly. obviously, that threatens national security. think of the economic harm that these acts of terror resulted. it is important that this committee take up this very serious issue of the threats that isis poses across the board. speaking with ms. richards earlier, she knowledges that
this is the primary topic that is really about the administration's plan to let about 10,000 refugees in syria. we are a compassionate, humane society. we are going to lay out the reality in terms of what the vetting process will be to make sure that we maintain a secure nation, that we minimize if not eliminate the risk. i think we have had secured briefings. i think we will hear a robust vetting process. i appreciate the department of homeland security with mr. rodriguez but also the state department sending ms. richards here. i think everybody on this committee appreciates the fact that you are taking up a time to lay out that reality to the american public. refugees could pose a risk. boldly we take a look at what
the vetting process could be and we take a look at all the risks, we may find that there are far greater risks. whether it is the visa waiver program or student visas, what types of controls, vulnerabilities, how we exposed because of the openness of our society? i think all of these are very important questions and they definitely need to be explored. if you really want to take a look at where we are most vulnerable, this committee has dedicated itself to border security. we have held 12 separate hearings on that problem, trying to lay out the complexity, the difficult nature of that problem. the conclusion that certainly i have come to, and i think most committee members have come to, is that our borders are not secure. senator carper and i made a trip down to honduras and guatemala a couple of weeks ago.
frequently -- when we were down -- i believe it was guatemala, we heard a new term, sia. special interest aliens. currently, that is cubans coming in taking advantage of the dry foot policy. we are also learning that this includes syrians and somalians and pakistanis. this is a concern to us. i believe there were five syrians apprehended at the border. we don't know what threat level. i think it is being reported that they weren't a threat. but this is serious concern. we have heard the new government in canada will open up to streamline their refugee program.
we have certainly discovered in this committee that our border with canada is far from secure. our border in the southwest is very far from secure. the one metric that stands out in my mind is that mccaffrey testified that we are only interdicting 5%-10% of drugs coming into our southern border. we have to look at all of our vulnerabilities. we'll talk about the refugee and the vetting process. but we do need to understand the threat that we face. it is real, it is growing. coming from a manufacturing background, i have done a lot of problem-solving. the first step to solving any problem is laying out the reality, acknowledging that reality, looking for the root cause. the root cause of this problem is that isis exists and was able to rise from the ashes of what was a defeated al qaeda in iraq.
what we need to do is address the root cause of the refugee crisis. the fact that we are even here today considering bringing in, on the basis of compassion, refugees from syria. that is the symptom of the cause. the root cause is isis. a coalition of the willing of the civilized world to destroy and defeat isis, that is the goal that president obama stated. to degrade and ultimately defeat isis. i would argue that ultimately ought to be very, very soon. i want to thank the witnesses from this panel and the next panel to take your time for your thoughtful testimony. sen. carper: let me set aside my prepared remarks and i would ask
that these be submitted for the record. a lot of attention paid to refugees coming from syria to the united states. in the last year, there were like 2000 refugees. it is not easy process to go through, as my colleagues know. it is a process that can take as much as two years. if folks make the cut to get to the next step, they go through a bunch of screens, interviews. to the extent that we have data, files to check, dhs does the work with other countries with whom we are allied. out of the 2000 that come in as refugees in the last year or
two, about 2% were military age males. of the folks that have come to our country so far, i am told that not one person has been arrested. it takes two years. it is a process that -- if i was trying to get in, that is the last way i would try to get in. i might try a visa waiver program and they might try just coming over as a student or as a tourist. i understand that the four french nationals who were killed in paris, either three or all four of them were people who would have never been allowed to get on a plane to come to the u.s.
one of the things -- challenges for us, i think, is to understand -- we need to go back and dust off the books, things that we learned in terms of strengthening that program. what started off as a travel facilitation program has now become an information sharing program with 38 other nations. in order for them to participate in this program with us, they have to agree to provide access to every kind of intelligence file that we asked for. if they don't, then they are not included as one of the visa waiver countries. one of the other developments not too long ago was that if you want to be a visa waiver country, these 38 countries, you have to make sure that if somebody's passport is stolen or lost, it is reported to interpol. that way, if someone shows up trying to use that passport, they can be stopped in their tracks. the preamble to our constitution
says "in order to form a more perfect union." my guess is, that it still is imperfect and our goal should be perfection. hopefully we can work with some of our colleagues on other committees with jurisdiction. the last thing i would say -- we face a moral dilemma here. the pope was in town two months ago, invoked the golden rule. treat others the way you want to be treated. everybody stood up and applauded when he said in matthew 25. now, we're not so sure we believe those words. we have an imperative to treat others the way you want to be treated and we have an equally strong moral imperative to make sure that we don't meet that
moral imperative by putting at risk the citizens of this country. the question is, can we do both? i think we can. morally, and by common sense, we need to do both. the challenge is to try to figure out how we do that, build on the things that have been done. the department of homeland security is doing good work in communities where there is a large muslim population. just to make sure that we are helping those communities to inoculate against successive efforts to use social media to radicalize people. it seems to be working, and i think as we consider appropriations bills in the future, i hope we will look into what works and do more with that in this regard. lastly, there is a guy, adam
zubin, who was involved in a leadership role when trying to cut off iran's access to international financial markets, north korea's access to international financial markets. i understand he has been nominated to a senior position in treasury. there is obvious the work that needs to be done. is that nomination still pending in the banking committee? >> it is still pending. the hearing has been completed pending. sen. carper: all those vacant positions, they have been filled. we have done very good work in that regard. this is another nomination that will be very helpful in terms of the root cause with isis money.
in terms of making sure that their money is gone, this is a good way to do it. thank you. have an opening statement. a couple housekeeping items. it is great that we have such a great agenda and we will limit questions to five minutes. i think there will be acronyms being thrown around so i had my staff published an acronym glossary as well as a 13 step vetting process put out by the u.s. committee for refugees and immigrants. with that, it is the tradition to swear in witnesses, so if you both rise and racial right-hand. do you swear the testimony will give before this committee will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you god? thank you.
please be seated. our first witness is ms. anne richard, the assistant secretary of state. prior to her appointment, she was with the international rescue committee, and international aid agency that helps refugees displaced in conflict. ms. richard: thank you very much, senator johnson, senator carper, all the senators on this committee for holding this hearing today on the impact of isis on the homeland and refugee resettlement. i have provided some testimony that talks about the humanitarian assistance provide overseas, that talks about our diplomacy in the humanitarian area. what i would like to focus on right away is the refugee resettlement process. i know the murderous attacks in paris last friday evening have raised many questions about the
spillover of, not just migrants to europe, but also the spillover of violence to the streets of a major european capital. let me assure you that the entire executive branch and the state department i represent here today has the safety and security of americans as our highest priority. we screen applicants rigorously and carefully in an effort to ensure that no one that poses a threat to our country is able to enter. intensive security screenings involving multiple federal agencies. these are intelligence, security, and law enforcement agencies, including the counterterrorism center, the department of homeland security, state, and defense. resettlement is a deliberate
process that can take 18-24 months. applicants to the program are currently subject to the highest level of security checks of any category of traveler to the united states. these include biographic checks and lengthy in person overseas interviews by specially trained dhs officers who scrutinize the applicant to ensure the applicant is a bona fide refugee and is not known to present security concerns to the united states. these interviewers report to director rodriguez. he is really the expert on this. what i would like to say is, the vast majority of the 3 million refugees who have been admitted to the united states, including from some of the most troubled regions of the world, have proven to be hard-working and
productive residents. they pay taxes, send children to school, and after five years, many take the test to become citizens. many serving military or other forms of service for their community and our country. i'm happy to answer any questions you have about any part of my testimony and to get there is that i did not get into. i think the hot issue today is the security aspects of our program. therefore, i am very pleased to be here to answer any questions. thank you. sen. johnson: our next witnesses mr. leon rodriguez. mr. rodriguez of the director of -- is the director of immigration services at the department of homeland security, which plays a key role in the refugee admissions program. prior to this position, mr. rodriguez served with the office of human rights at the office of health and human services, and with the department of justice. mr. rodriguez: thank you
chairman, thank you ranking member, thank you members of the committee, and thank you in particular for convening this very timely hearing. i'm going to use the time that i have to do something which i think is really critical at this juncture, which is to lay out with some care how the refugee screening process works, what its structure is, what its redundancies are, and what the resources are that are utilized as part of this process. most refugees, the overwhelming majority in the case of syrians, who entered the u.s. screening process, our first encountered in refugee camps. in the case of syrians, the majority of those will be either in turkey, jordan, lebanon. their first encounter is with the united nations high commissioner for refugees, where they register their claim for refugee status. some are referred to the united
states, others are referred to other countries that have also expressed a willingness to the united nations to receive refugees. the united nations conducts an interview, it explores possible inadmissibilities in terms of the united states or other countries. it also makes a determination of priority. once those determinations are made, if in fact there is a cognizable claim, and there don't appear to be mis-abilities, they refer them to whatever country it is, in our case to the state department, where a series of things occur. at that point, a second interview is conducted by ms. richard's staff.
a series of biographical checks are conducted at that point, querying state department holdings, including databases that are of an intelligence nature, security advisory opinions in a large number he of -- a large number of the cases which is a database hosted by , the fbi, and very critically, for our discussion here, what is called the interagency check, which is a network of queries posted by the national counterterrorism center, a broad swath of intelligence and law-enforcement holdings. i know we have talked a lot about the comparison between this case and iraq. when we talk about syria, we are talking about isil, talking about al-nusra, the syrian government itself. all of those that interests different than those to the united states.
there is a constant process of gathering information, about what is going on in those places. as a result, in a number of cases, our queries of those databases have registered hits. those hits have been either to deny outright admission to individuals or to place people on hold. if the individual clears the state department process, they are then referred to uscis. we have the benefit of all the work that has been done prior. the state department interview, the fruits of those background checks. in particular, those officers that work in environments like syria or others, with a particularly rigorous battery of training as well as apprenticeship out in the field.
with that briefing, they then conducted very intensive interviews to identify credibility issues, possible inadmissibility issues, or other derogatory admissions. at the same time, they are fingerprinted, and those fingerprints are run against border patrol, fbi, and department of defense holdings. only after they clear that process and we analyze, they are moved on. they move into the controlled application resolution and review process, which is a joint undertaking of my refugee affairs division and my fraud detection national security director. they are subjected to more intense analysis of what is going on. in fact, a number of cases going while now, hundreds of
them in fact, are on hold because of concerns identified during the process. only after an individual or a family unit has cleared that entire process is the decision made in fact to have approved that file to allow that individuals with plans made for cultural orientation, medical examination, and then planning to move to the u.s. i also underscore that when i talked about the biographic checks earlier, that is a recurrent process, meaning that even though we do it before the interview, that system is constantly clary. that is a recent improvement to the manner in which we do our work. that means a new derogatory information arises, then we will be notified about that information in order to take appropriate action. i look forward to the questions which i think will give me
further opportunity to elicit data. sen. johnson: i want to start out, because we have been told in briefings that only 2% of the 1869 syrian refugees the have been allowed in the country over the past year were men of military age, 21-30. but it is a little more narrow than that. there were really 994 men, 875 women out of that 1869. can you tell us the distinction there? ms. richard: there have been 2000 syrians resettled to the united states since the start of the crisis 4.5 years ago. 1700 came last year. of all the ones that have come, 2% are young, single, military age males who aren't with a family or don't have a family connection in the united states, truly on their own.
the percentage of males is a little over half, but that includes boys to grandpas. sen. johnson: i just kind of wanted to set the record straight there. my concern is, where are the vulnerabilities, where are the holes in the system? i think in briefings, people are very concerned about checking databases, watch lists. what does it take to get on a database or a watchlist and how do you avoid it? what people would be on there that then you are going to completely rely on interviews? so how do you get on a watchlist and how do you stay off it? mr. rodriguez: the specifics would be something you would have to address in a classified briefing. suffice to say, if there is a heightened concern that someone is a terrorist or otherwise an actor looking to harm the united
states, that would be the basis of either nomination to one of the databases i described before or sen. johnson: they would have to do something or be associated with somebody that is nefarious, correct? mr. rodriguez: that is at least two ways. sen. johnson: let's say they are a citizen in syria or in france. there would be no reason for them to be on a watchlist or a database, correct? during the interview process, they would really be able to answer all the questions and not come across as particularly suspicious, right? mr. rodriguez: i go back to what i said at the beginning. there is no question that isis, al-nusra, the syrian government
itself, are our enemies. therefore, there is a process for looking for information about those entities, their activities, where they operate, who they are, that in turn becomes -- and again, not describing the techniques with how that occurs -- that in turn becomes a technique that becomes available to us through these databases i described. it becomes a resource, through association in some cases, to come at a minimum, subject that case to closer scrutiny. sen. johnson: you may not be on those databases and it would have to have a pretty good interviewer to hopefully catch that. what is the current estimate of the number of foreign fighters that are european citizens --
let's put it this way, citizens of a country that have a visa waiver program in place with the united states? how many of those do we know have gone to syria and come back? mr. rodriguez: i believe that sort of analysis exists. i don't have it at my fingertips. sen. johnson: i think that is one of our greater vulnerabilities. as other people ask questions, we will see a pretty robust vetting process for refugees, and probably a less robust process for other forms of visa waivers or visas coming into this country. i think that is part of the vulnerability will need to explore. sen. carper: we appreciate very much your being with us here today. given what we talked about here today and what we learned in the past several days about the rigor of the refugee program,
the screening process in the refugee program, these people are not stupid, the people we're dealing with, the bad guys. i can't imagine why they would want to go two years through a refugee process when they could get visa waiver, or a student visa. welcome to the visa waiver process we have with 38 other countries. or come to the visa waiver process we have with 38 other countries. it is hard to imagine, but to go through that process for two years and any step of the way i could be detected. ok. i think where we need to, as a committee, focus our attention is on the visa waiver.
-- visa waiver program. but id be mistaken, believe we had one in the last year or so on the -- on the visa waiver situation, it was good. was it perfect? no, it wasn't. has it been a better? yes it has. are there things that we can do to make it better still? i'm sure there are. mr. rodriguez, if you could just talk about -- this might be a little bit outside of your lane, the visa waiver program. give us some advice as to what legislatively we can do. my lane, although the individual -- mr. rodriguez: i confess that it is outside of my lane, although the individual that runs that lane doesn't sit too far away for me, and that will be the customs and border patrol. sen. carper: is anybody here with you? mr. rodriguez: no, but we can
certainly work with the committee to arrange a briefing or a hearing to discuss those issues. sen. carper: you said something in your testimony, mr. rodriguez about i think the term , used was recurring process. re-examining as new information comes to the fore that can be used in terms of either denying or revisiting some of the ability to come here or stay here. would you talk more about that? mr. rodriguez: i talked before about the interagency check, which is essentially an electronic query, which is a number of different law enforcement and intelligence databases. we have now updated our approach to those checks to have the system advise us if further information is entered into that system about an individual about whom there has been previously a query. if we had queried, during the soif we had queried, during the,
initial phases or the intermediate phases of the screening process, an individual, new information arises about that individual, then we would be notified about the existence of that new information. that occurs right up to the moment of arrival in the united states. that query process continues to occur right up to that point. the other thing i might say, if i may, about the interview process. my training is as a state and federal prosecutor. i spent a lot of my time around law enforcement of all types. state, local, and federal. i have conducted and observed thousands of interviews. i have taken the opportunity to observe my officers in action. i was with them in turkey this june. and i can tell you that the quality of the interviewing that they were conducting was as good as any i have seen in my
professional career. sen. carper: ok. would you talk to us a little bit about whether or not we need to examine more closely -- we talked about the refugee process of getting here, these a waiver process of getting here, how about student visa process of getting here? 12 million people undocumented in this country, i think about 40% came here under some sort of a legal status. maybe using a tourist visa, student visa. are there any things we should be mindful of in thinking about the rigor of those processes? mr. rodriguez: those processes also involve both law enforcement, national security database checks. the fact that those are outside of the refugee process does not mean that we aren't taking the same rigor that we applied to the refugee screening process.
sen. carper: thanks so much. >> senator portman. sen. portman: they keep holding another hearing on this topic. we were here last month talking to the secretary of homeland security and also to the fbi director and the counterterrorism folks. i think it is clear that we live in a dangerous world and is something we have to be concerned about. we talked about how there are 5000 foreign fighters who come from the 38 countries with which we have a visa waiver arrangement. that is a huge risk. i think it is important that this committee focus on tightening up those standards. we have to worry about visas. the 9/11 terrorists came here, overstayed their visas.
we didn't know who they were, where they were. that is an immigration reform issue. legal immigrants. we have foreign fighters ourselves. we have had come -- we have had some come back to my home state of ohio. we had one that came back to columbus, ohio and plotted to commit terrorist acts in the united states and was arrested for it. it is happening. we also have the concern of illegal entry. we hear about the five individuals that were stopped in honduras with fake syrian passports. we had a couple of families at the mexican border this morning. this is a problem in this goes to our need to have a secure border, not just for immigration purposes, but for money, guns, drugs, and certainly terrorism. in my hometown of cincinnati, we have one person currently incarcerated for wanting to come to this capital. to blow us up here. in akron, this month, we had a homegrown terrorist arrested. this is in ohio, the heartland.
so this is a real issue but i , don't think we ought to ignore the refugee side of it either. let me tell you a story. and maybe you can tell me if this is something that could never happen under the current program. there were a couple brothers that were brought in as refugees from iraq. they were in the heartland, right across the river from where i live, in bowling green, kentucky. recently, the sixth circuit court of appeals confirmed their conviction for aiding al qaeda. they are recorded as saying, "many things should take place and they should be huge." these were refugees. this notion that it is ok on the refugee program -- of course we need to know who is coming here. we need to be sure that only of who they are, but what their intentions are.
with regard to these iraqi refugees who came in, they had been fingerprinted at the border, entered into a biometric database. yet, when they were checked by dhs, fbi, department of defense, they came in clean and were admitted into the united states. later, they bragged about what they had done to kill u.s. soldiers in iraq. they weren't picked up. my concern, which is something that came forward in our last hearing here, on october 8 in this room, when we had your boss, fbi director counterterrorism officials, and , they told us, we don't have the intelligence in syria to be able to do the appropriate background checks. here is the quote from director comey, the fbi director -- "senator, to me, there's a risk
of bringing anyone from the outside, but especially a conflict zone like that. my concern there is that there are certain gaps people don't want to talk about publicly in the data that is available." you said something similar this morning, that you don't want to talk in public session about the gaps. obviously we don't have , intelligence on the ground there. we have special forces, that's great. they are not there to collect information from refugees. i do think it is a concern. i think we have to type it up. we ignore many other threats, some of which may be greater threats. first, to say that we are somehow against refugees because we think they're up to be proper checks in place, that is ridiculous. we are most generous country in the world, and thank god we are. let's be darn sure that we don't have another situation as we had in bowling green, kentucky.
your response? mr. rodriguez: since the bowling green case, a lot has been done to upgrade the security check system. i have heard it said by others that those individuals would have in fact been picked up under the kind of biographic screening that we do now. nothing of what i am saying should be seen as contrary to what either secretary johnson or director comey did. there is risk to what we do. what i am saying is that we engage in the process, with redundancies, abundant resources, highly trained officers, to keep those risks to an absolute, absolute minimum. sen. johnson: just out of respect to all of our members
here, i will be using the gavel to keep the question and answer periods to as close to five minutes as possible. sen. mccaskill: thank you all for being here. i think it is obvious, as has been stated today and many times over the past few days, that these radical jihadists are all over the world. they are in our country, they are in many countries. if you look at the number of refugees that have been brought in from other countries, there is a number of countries on that list that we brought in much more than syria. like somalia, iran, yemen. everywhere, there is intelligence gaps. the question i have for you is, if you were a terrorist -- maybe
this isn't a good question because we don't want to tell terrorists this. [laughter] which, of all the ways to get into the country, are you subjected to the most scrutiny? mr. rodriguez: i can say with great confidence that applicants with refugee status, and in particular, refugees from syria, are subjected to the most scrutiny of any traveler of any kind to the united states. sen. mccaskill: let me acknowledge, america is on edge. people i love are on edge. we are worried and angry. worried and angry. what i would like us to do is to calmly come together as a country, democrats and republicans, and figure out what we can do that enhances the
security in all of the categories. but it seems to me we have gotten distracted by the shiny objects of refugees because of this image of people swarming our borders without any checks, not realizing that this is not like europe. all the side of the border of france is "welcome to france." that's it. once they got into europe, you have free access around those countries. what i would like you to tell us, both of you if you are going , to spend time and energy crafting policies to keep america safe for those people that want to come here, where would you focus attention? mr. rodriguez: for me, it is that that is an operational question as much as a policy question. it is an operational question that we asked ourselves every single day in what we do, which
is, to the extent that we are screening the refugees or the other example that was given was student visas, what are we doing to plug up risks that we identify in those processes? even though i identify what i think is a very rigorous process, we are constantly looking for opportunities to upgrade that process improve the , scope of information that we access, to deepen the training and understanding of our officers. one example is, to the extent that we talk about increasing admissions, our officers learned a lot from the refugees that they interview. that deepens their ability to be able to screen the people. sen. mccaskill: what about students? are we doing this for students? are we checking them at all the databases? mr. rodriguez: in many cases, depending on where they come
from and the circumstances. we are checking them in the databases. we do that for every immigration category that we operate. the configurations are different depending on the categories, but we basically do a national security check, a criminal justice check. just about every applicant for immigrant consideration that we encounter. sen. mccaskill: what about biometrics for the 38 countries that we have visa waiver programs with? how many of them now do not have the facial recognition, fingerprint recognition, chip embedded passports that we now think should be standard? how many of those countries do not have that as a bare minimum? mr. rodriguez: senator, i am going to respectfully deferred to my customs and border patrol colleagues. sen. mccaskill: i would like us to get that information, because of we're crafting legislation, i think it is a big mistake not to use this as a moment of leverage with our visa waiver partners to
insist on the same level of biometric protections that we have in our passports with those passports, since i believe the foreign fighters in those countries pose much more of a risk to us than the small number of refugees who have gone through a great amount of vetting. sen. ayotte: i want to thank the chairman. just to be clear, following up on senator portman's question about the current program and the refugee program -- director comey, not only did he testify before this committee with what he told senator portman, but also what i think concern many of us was the testimony he gave before the house committee on
october 21 of 2015 in which he basically said that the u.s. government may not have the ability to vet thoroughly all the syrian refugees coming into the united states. if they are not in the database, that leaves inadequate information. he said, "we can only query against that which we have collected." if someone has never been a -- never made a ripple in the pond in syria, we can query the database until the cows come home, but we are not going to do. but there will be nothing because we have no record on that person. i guess my question is, i understand the multiple steps you are taking, but isn't one of our big gaps here that we don't have the kind of intelligence we had in iraq, where, because we had many representatives on the ground, we had men and women who fought there, we had diplomatic
representatives that we do not have in syria, that this presents a different challenge to us? mr. rodriguez: there is no question that in iraq we had a unique level of intelligence saturation. sen. ayotte: are there greater challenges and how do we reconcile what director comey has said about these gaps with concerns that our constituents have about the vetting process based on a gap in information? mr. rodriguez: i'm trying to explain. this is not the first time, by far, that we have been vetting individuals coming from a country that was a zone of conflict where we were not participants, where we did not have was the intelligence gathering ability that we had in iraq.
sen. ayotte: simple question, do you diminish at all the concerns made by the fbi director to the congress? mr. rodriguez: i think i was very clear that it is not without risk. what i am saying is that we are using multiple intelligence resources. sen. ayotte: i understand that, just a simple yes or no. do you disagree or if you have any quarrel with the comments? mr. rodriguez: i do not have quarrel with what he said, i think there is context that is critical. sen. ayotte: of all the individuals involved in the terrorist attacks, can either of you answer the question of how many were on our no-fly list? mr. rodriguez: i know that i am not in a position in an open hearing to discuss that information. sen. ayotte: can either of you answer the question of how many were on our terror watch list? mr. rodriguez: again, in an open session, i don't believe i can. sen. ayotte: i would agree with senator mccaskill that there are allies on the visa waiver
program that this committee has been focusing on for a while. a number of hearings before this on the visa waiver program. we do need to understand what information and what gaps were on that based on those individuals who are the perpetrators of the attacks in paris were on our list. number one, i think that we have all received some briefing on that in a classified setting. this is something we have to have an open discussion about this as well. were those gaps that need to be fixed? if they can't get on our no-fly zone list, and they are not on our no-fly zone list, this is the real issue of the visa waiver program, because that means potentially they can come here. that is something that needs to be addressed. i don't think it is mutually exclusive that we address these gaps in the visa waiver program that need to be addressed. obviously, there is legitimate
and important reasons for people to travel to the united states of america, but we need to make sure that we address that issue as well. but i think many of us are concerned, based on what we're hearing from some of our top intelligence officials and the director of the fbi, that the gaps that we have don't allow us to fully know what we need to know on some of the individuals that are coming, potentially, to our country. finally, if we do not address isis with what they are doing in syria and iraq, then we are going to be in a position, if we don't work together with our allies to defeat isis, then the refugee problem is going to continue because these individuals will not have a home. sen. tester: thank you mr. chairman and thank you for holding this hearing. thank you both of the people testifying. if a refugee's application for
admittance is denied, is there a tag put on that record? mr. rodriguez: in other words, if we see the individual again? sen. tester: that is the next question. mr. rodriguez: we certainly make sure we know who that individual is. critically, if future cases demonstrate some connection to that denied individual, that is something we are able to identify. we're always looking at networks of people, networks of association. sen. tester: is it fair to say that the refugees have been denied acceptance, none of them have tried to reapply and none of them have received what has been denied? mr. rodriguez: i can't say that has been unheard of. we can certainly get an answer. sen. tester: can you tell me
what would cause a denied application one to become something that got accepted at a later date? mr. rodriguez: i suppose that if it was a situation where it turned out that the individual was able to effectively refute the basis of the denial. that would be a pretty high bar. sen. tester: could you give me an idea on how many refugee applications are received and how many are accepted? mr. rodriguez: in any given year -- this past year -- sen. tester: what i'm talking about, you apply, you are turned away or your accepted. can you give me the difference between application and acceptance. i know how many people have come in already. if you can't answer that, get back to me. mr. rodriguez: i will get you that. sen. tester: let me answer a little bit about the process for screening that you went through. you said that the refugees were continually queried through databases for additional information.
is that while the vetting process is going on or does that even occur after they are admitted into the country? mr. rodriguez: that occurs up to the time of their admission into the country. from the time the check is first run, essentially the state department leg of the first screening, right up to the time of their admission. sen. tester: ok. without getting into the specifics, we have talked about these waivers, we will potentially talk about political refugees and the difference, different ways of getting into this country, is your department putting together a list of things, as an ask of congress for additional tools to make sure the vetting process is where it needs to be? if any is required, are you willing to give us what needs to be done for the entire overlay,
political refugees and others visa waivers and others? , mr. rodriguez: we are always willing to work with the congress on those issues. it is important to understand that my agency is a fee-funded agency. the fees paid by most of our fee-payers subsidize the refugee program. so they don't pay an application , fee but that is subsidized. it is not from tax revenue. sen. tester: i got you, but that isn't the question. the question is, if we need to tighten up visa waivers or if we need to tighten up political refugees and the regiment they have to go through to get accepted to this country, are you guys willing to put forth those recommendations to us? it would be nice to deal with the folks who deal directly on where the gaps are. you know them better than i. mr. rodriguez: we are absolutely willing to work with this body
at any time to refine the way we do our work, absolutely. sen. tester: ok. let's see, what else? that is probably about it. i just want to say thank you for your work. i think there is not anyone who serves in congress and doesn't want to make sure this country is as safe as it can be. i think what happened in france rattled people to their soul. we need to make sure that the work you are doing fits the risk. sen. johnson: let me just share something. at our briefing yesterday, and that our lunch today, there was some mention of the program, a number of $45 million sticks in my mind. the program combats radicalization in this country. we were told yesterday that is something we should do more of. mr. rodriguez: secretary johnson
has assembled something called the community partnerships, the purpose of which is to engage in the activity we call countering violent extremism. that is a series of engagements at a national, state, and local level, a community level, with youth, with nongovernmental organizations, to really identify the root causes of radicalization and to use smart approaches to interrupt the process of radicalization. >> senator baldwin. sen. baldwin: like my colleagues, i am hearing from the public in wisconsin with sincerely held concerns and
fears about an attack such as the horrific attack we saw in paris happening here in the united states. i was grateful to hear your response to senator mccaskill's question about which of the methods of entry into the united states would set up or provide the greatest amount of scrutiny. i think i heard you say fairly specifically that the refugee path, especially if you are a refugee from syria, would provoke the most intense scrutiny. is that correct? mr. rodriguez: that is absolutely correct. i know we do want to cross all lines of business and that is the most scrutiny. sen. baldwin: i wanted to follow up, because a number of the governors in the united states have come forward to try to cut
off that path in terms of announcing some sort of refusal to participate in a refugee resettlement program, that is the national program. governor walker, from the state of wisconsin, the state that i represent, was among those governors. i just wanted to share what he communicated in terms of raising concerns. he said that there are not proper security procedures in place to appropriately ascertain the identities of those entering our country through the syrian refugee program. additionally that, "a threat to our safety and security of our people."
can you respond to those concerns? mr. rodriguez: sure. there have been refugee populations that, because they come from conflict zones, because they are running from their house, have not presented a lot of documentation. that has not generally in true been true of the syrian refugee population. our officers are trained in finding fraudulent documents. that is something we are always looking for as a concern. it is also a critical part of the vetting process from end to end. what unhcr does, what we do, to drill into the identity and associations of these individuals. i do have a high level of
confidence that when we stamp a case "approved," we know whose case we approve. we know the identity of that individual. sen. baldwin: thank you. ms. richard, next question has to do with the implications on funding that flows from the federal government in support of refugee resettlement programs. generally, if a state were to announce that it wasn't going to participate in that program, i know that you work in partnership with the department of health and human services office of refugee resettlement. let me ask, do you think the state decisions jeopardize this funding stream? such as medical assistance,
social services, and housing? and i am particularly concerned about refugees that may have something our state from other places in the world aside from syria. ms. richard: thank you for your question. three departments of the federal government are the ones that help run the process. although as you have heard, a lot of law enforcement and national security agencies are involved in vetting. in terms of running the process, the state department works with unhcr, which refers refugees to us. we have staff in centers around the world to help the refugees. the essential decision whether with dhs.come rests som the vetting process is collocated.
we also are responsible for getting into the u.s., working with partner organizations at the airport and getting them settled in the first three months of their new lives in the u.s. at that point, the department of health and human services as a program to provide assistance through the state government to give additional support to refugees. refugee specific programs. it varies from state to state. so in the past there has been at , least one governor who said, i don't like refugees coming here, i'm not going to accept this money. a member of congress told him, please accept this money, i worked hard to get assistance for the state to help with these kinds of tests. this is a federal program. the governors do not have the ability to block the resettlement of refugees. but more important than that is , that this program depends on the support of the american people. it is run at the community level. there are a lot of community organizations, volunteers, churches, faith-based groups, temples involved.
a lot of the things that help a refugee family that started once they get here are furnished by charity. i've been to places in miami, where i have cuban refugees get furniture from a furniture store where the founder was a cuban refugee. so these contributions are a big , part of this program. it is a public-private partnership. it only works if people at the community level support it. i am less concerned about the legal ramifications of the governor's actions and were -- and much more concerned about the message sends to american citizens, that we would all be running a program that is dangerous. we have no desire to do that. we also need public officials and senators and members of congress to help us. the responsibility is my, but i can use the help. help educate people about what
this program is and why we do it and why it is in the best interest of our nation to honor this tradition. thank you. >> thank you mr. chairman. a couple things. first off, just because i know you guys have deferred a number of times on the visa waiver program. i want to acknowledge that 20 million people last year in 38 countries -- and i'm not saying they all traveled to the united states, used the visa waiver program. we know that many of those 38 countries do not have the same level of scrutiny, biometrics, not even looking at either e-verified task force. we have allowed in the interest
of commerce and certainly without my countries, maybe not being as enforcement-minded as we are. this is a huge part of what we need to be concerned about. we are here talking about the refugee program. i will ask the simple question. do you think it is legitimate for the american public to today ask you to provide answers to their questions about this program? but also for you to take a look at this program and analyze whether in fact there are any gaps, things that we could be doing better, choices that we could be making. let's say, mr. rodriguez, we have someone that we know nothing about. compelling story, but we know nothing about them. another compelling story over here, we know a lot about that person, given the competition for resettlement. don't you think it makes sense for us to prioritize those folks that have compelling story, but that we know a lot about? >> apologies.
whatever questions -- i am accountable. i am accountable to the american people first and foremost. mr. rodriguez: whatever questions they have our questions that i am fully prepared at all times to answer. questions about how we conduct this process, how we prioritize within this process. the basic design of the refugee referral process is to prioritize individuals in the most need. it starts what is a very rigorous process of screening. and a lot of information is gathered from everybody that we encounter. if we can't get the information, we don't clear them. we don't approve their cases and they are held or outright denied. >> that is something missed in this discussion today. they say, you know nothing about them. what you are saying now is that
you can't really find out another that them -- enough about them. that person may not, and probably won't make it into this country? is that what you are saying? not entirely. in other words, the individual has to give us enough information that matches other information that we know about what is going on. >> wouldn't that be third-party verification? mr. rodriguez: i guess you are right senator. >> that is an important question about how you prioritize. no one here is suggesting there isn't a need. there are a lot of compelling stories. there are a lot of compelling stories, but have a higher level of assurance. i don't have a lot of time. i want to get to this issue of the northern border. because obviously we have a , fairly open border with canada. i can attest to that. i think the ranking member who has flown over the border can also attest to that.
i know the chairman mentioned the border during his opening statement. canada's goals regarding syrian refugees. i think border security remains critical for this country. i think we also have to include the northern border, which i have been beating the drum for on this committee since i have been on it. we have to make smart investments on the northern border. one of the questions that i have regarding the refugee program, especially as it relates to canada -- are there any issues with housing canadians -- there refugees? any suggestions you have made to expand their vetting process? or to improve their vetting process? and can you speak to what would occur if someone was admitted into canada as a refugee and they later try to illegally cross the border to the united states? would that person even though
, they may not have passed rigorous our country, be allowed entry through canada? mr. rodriguez: i will ask the assistant secretary to add what i miss. we are in constant consultation with particularly english-speaking countries on how we conduct refugee screening. the canadians have been in this business for a long time. they do conduct the basic outline of their system, what i'm familiar with, wizards -- which is also quite rigorous. we are in a constant state of battle with them to make sure-- >> is the canadian system as rigorous as ours? mr. rodriguez: i cannot say. from what i have been watching-- >> that is something you can get back to me on. i have used up my time. the chairman has offered to gavel a stone if we go too far over. this is a dialogue we need to continue.
ms. richard: i am meeting with a canadian official tomorrow. if you give me some questions, i will get answers for you. >> senator peters. >> this has been an interesting hearing, when i am sure we will be discussing for some time. it is particularly important to me and the folks in the state of michigan, as i think both of you are aware. we have one of the largest italy's population outside of middle east. we are home to many refugees from around the world that come to the detroit area. i have had an opportunity to work with refugee resettlement groups, with religious communities, i have gotten to know many refugees have come to this country that contribute. they are for the most part -- i shouldn't say the most part -- all the refugees i have talked to or patriots. -- are patriots.
they are excited to be in the west, away from a hazardous situation. they have opened up their hearts to be here. they are storeowners, entrepreneurs, physicians, engineers, contributing folks to our country. that is what this country has been about sent its founding, -- since its founding folks that , come around the world that want to pursue the american dream. important for us to know that we are dealing with a few military and crisis of, proportions we have not seen since world war ii. we have literally have millions of people who love been we have millions of people who have been displaced from syria, and are displaced because of thousands of syrians were murdered. they left because they fear for their safety and their loved ones. about two months ago, i was at a syrian refugee camp in jordan.
about 85,000 individuals at the time i was there cramped in the camp in a desert, not start -- not far from a syrian border. not the best conditions to live in. they were receiving a food allowance equal to to $.50 a day. you can't buy a whole lot food for $.50 a day. you have one propane bottle to cook from. you can't do a whole lot of cooking. what was most impactful to me was the conversations i had with those refugees who just had a sense of hopelessness. they had been there for a long time, usually you go to a refugee camp in your there -- you're there for 6 months and back in your country. that is not the case. these folks were in a camp for 4 years. they had difficult he surviving and getting education. their children were there and had to work. not getting an education. i said, where do you want to go? obviously you don't know what your future is. do you want to go to the united states? do you want to go to europe?
all of them at the same answer. -- all of them had the same answer. they said, we just want to go home. we do want to go to a foreign country. we don't want another language, we just want to go home. certainly everybody in this room today if we were in that , situation, we would just want to go home. we have to stabilize the region, deal with isis, have a credible government there, have a strategy to make sure folks can go back and be comparable. -- comfortable. also in the meantime, we have to know that it's time. you have folks not just where i visited, but millions of others in camps. jordan has taken on incredible responsibility. people who are running away from the bad guys folks who are , running away from war from violence, trying to find a place where they can raise their children. the united nations was at that camp. i want a sense of how we get screenings. you talked about prioritization.
how do they determine which families should be in the program? i think another important number is about 20,000 folks have been referred to u.s. from the united nations as potential refugees. i understand we have looked at about 7000. you can correct me on those numbers. and then we admitted 2000. already the u.n. has done prioritizing. probably those who are in most need who have been there a long time. i like to know what that is, how we can continue to screen them. those numbers alone show how robust the system is. some folks have discussed if you are a terrorist wanted to get into this country, you're going to take the path of least resistance. this is far from the path of least resistance. you have to be in a refugee camp for a while before you are even looked at by the u.n.
this is a multi-year process that folks go through. from seeing it firsthand, it is horrible conditions that they find themselves in. there is not anybody in this room that would want to be in a position. they would want someone to say, we have some compassion. we know you can be a valuable contribution. you can talk about that please. why we move those numbers down so much. ms. richard: they know we would like to take those most vulnerable. they sent us some of the most vulnerable people. my experience has been like yours senator, where most of the refugees you meet want to go home again. resettlement tears families
apart in some ways. those that we offer to our widows with children == are widows with children, people who have been victims of torture, trauma. people who have seen terrible things happen in front of them, for whom there is no going home ever again. we also give homes to persecuted religious minorities, people who are lgbt. we also, anyone -- perhaps people that feel that they would have a death threat if they went home again. >> thank you, senator. a couple quick questions. if you have some closing comments. mr. romney regis we are going , from 75 -- 70,000 refugees to 80,000 refugees. that's a 20% increase. going from 70,000 to 100,000. do you have the resources to take on that large of an increase?
mr. rodriguez: we do. it requires us to look for deficiencies in our process. i have often said when organizations are challenged in this way, it becomes an opportunity to improve. that is how we are treating this challenge. but, it does require us to move some resources around. it does require to improve our processes where we can. keep in mind we are a $3 billion , a year organization. the challenge is an operational one more than a financial one. but we are rising to the , challenge. >> how many syrians are in the hopper being reviewed? mr. rodriguez: currently in review -- i thought i had this information -- i will have to get back to you. >> the house just passed the american state act 2015 --introduced the senate companion bill. it basically says that no
refugee may be admitted until the director of the fbi certifies with the director of only security and national intelligence that each refugee has "received a background investigation sufficient to determine the refugee is a threat to the security of the u.s." they may only be admitted after the directors certifies to congress that refugee is not a threat security united states. that passed on a strong bipartisan basis. 289-187. that seems like a pretty reasonable way to ensure that these robust process is carried out. ceos have to certify that their financial statements are accurate. do you think that is a reasonable response? mr. rodriguez: the white house took an indication that it would not add that much. i will say that the process that
we engage in is essentially equivalent to the process contemplated in that bill. people are subjected to the most intense scrutiny, intense supervisory review. cases that present concerns are elevated, fraud detection national security director is brought in to participate in the analysis. it would be my view that in fact it would not necessarily add much beyond the process. >> as you are seeing concerns of -- as you are seeing by the legitimate questions of the panel, concerns of our constituents, this would just be one additional level of control to provide that comfort to make sure that this redundant system would work. do you have any closing comments? ms. richard: yes sir, thank you.
i want to assure senator mccaskill that another way for us to help make america safer is to work with europeans to make their borders safer. that is in active discussion right now overseas. senator peters asked about the 23,000 referred to us. we brought 2000 to the united states. we continue to review cases and will get new referrals. it is more than a pipeline that people are flowing through. senator tester asked how many have been denied. worldwide, under our current screening, worldwide it's about 80% approved, 20%, 1 in 5 denied. so i don't have the specifics by , nationalities. the issue having the fbi having no holdings it is normal for the , u.s. government to have little information about most refugees at the beginning of the resettlement process. refugees are, after all,
innocent civilians that fled war zones. iraq and afghanistan are the exceptions. we have a lot of information about those who worked alongside the military were nearby. we work with them so that they tell their stories and put together a case file and fill in the cap that i know are a concern. i don't think that has to be, stop the program. i think that we can work with other intelligence agencies to fill in those gaps. i want to reassure this committee that we work very closely with dhs. this is my fifth time on the hill in the last three days. that is partly why i was so glad you gave leon all the tough questions. [laughter] we are very happy to continue. we work together on a daily basis.
we are happy to respond to you. one question -- should we be looking closer at our program? the white house has already asked us to go through the entire process carefully to look at ways to have efficiencies without cutting corners on security. is it really the best process that we can possibly have? we are convinced it is a secure process. but as everyone has noted, it is lengthy. that is part of our job. thank you very much. >> mr. rodriguez. mr. rodriguez: i want to thank you first and foremost for leading what i think is an incredible thoughtful and productive hearing. the questions that you have asked of us are questions that needed to be asked. i hope the answers that we offer ed some clarity. one of things clear to me over the last two weeks is that have
a burden with the american people in explaining to them how this process works, what the safeguards are. this has been a great opportunity to accomplish that. i fear i didn't answer a previous question -- are you looking for ways to make your process better? the answer is, absolutely yes. something that i and my staff and leadership that is here today, we do it every day. we realize what this means to the american people. we realize what this means to the individuals often in great distress who are asking us to , admit them united states. so to that extent we are always looking to improve. we are always willing to engage with this committee to talk about how we can improve the process rather. thank you again for your invitation here today. >> we want to thank you both for your service and taking the time. we want to thank the initiation
>> i will just make you all stand up again. raise your right hand. these were the testimony you give before this committee will be the truth, nothing but the truth, so help you god? thank you, please be seated. i like to be as efficient as possible. i appreciate you for taking the time. our first witness of the second panel is mr. peter bergen. mr. bergen is the vice president at new america in washington dc, where he is also director of studies and several programs. mr. bergen is also cnn's national security analyst. international security fellow fordham university. he is currently writing a book about homegrown terrorism. which hbo is raising a forthcoming film on. mr. bergen: thank you distinguished senators on the
committee for the invitation to speak today. my brief was to answer one of the homeland security lessons of the isis attacks in paris and the sinai. there are several. we have already addressed at length the question of the refugees. the real issue is not refugees, but the fact that so many french and belgian citizens in the plot that might qualify for these visa waiver programs. it was not clear from the witnesses how many were on watchlists. let's assume some of them were not, and even if so it certainly , shows with 1800 french citizens having gone to syria, and several hundred brits and germans -- and name your country in europe, you have substantial numbers. the visa waiver program is better than the refugee program, which is fairly robust. it seems the last thing you want to do is to apply as a refugee, because it would be so lengthy
and onerous, it would be much easier to come on a student visa or the visa waiver program. changing subjects slightly, another issue we learn from is the bomb in the paris attacks were used in the plane attacks. there were used in the plot to bomb the manhattan subway around the anniversary of 9/11. eighth that is a reminder to us that hydrogen peroxide bombs, which are relatively easy to access our what the jihadi terrorist groups want to use in the future. because hydrogen peroxide is easy to acquire and does not flag in the same way that ammonium nitrate does. both purchases of hydrogen peroxide, like the attack in colorado and the attack in manhattan are things that law , enforcement should be flagging for suspicious activity.
a lesson of the sinai attack is the question of airport workers. we have seen five members, five people, 5 american citizens since 9/11 involved in jihadi terrorist crimes. had jobs that american airports. three at a minneapolis airport. 1 at jfk as a baggage handler. before 9/11, but use that and a plot that was likely deferred. also one at lax, who was part of attack synagogues, lax, and u.s. military facilities in california four years after 9/11. extended that to a problem somewhere like heathrow airport. someone at heathrow gave information about security to a self-described member of al qaeda. luckily both were arrested. an employee of british airways was in touch with the leader of al qaeda in yemen about a bomb
on a british airways plane coming to the united states. sharm el-sheikh proves invulnerability. we have 200 airports around the world. many in countries that do not have particularly strong security services. if you want to kill a lot of people, don't send a group of people to paris with ak-47s, put a bomb on a plane. sinai, 224 dead versus dead. 129in the brief time i have left, we have 447 foreign fighters named going to isis. here are the headlines of what we found. one out of were women. seven that is an astonishing finding. by definition, these are very misogynistic groups and they did not attack women. but in paris, we had a woman who blew herself up just 24 hours ago. the average age is young.
it is 24. we found a large of teenagers. an astonishing 80 million named teenagers from the west, including places like colorado and chicago. many had ties to a jihad. brothers and sisters or got married in syria or have participated in previous terrorist plots. like in paris, the leader of the plot brought his 13-year-old brother to syria to basically fight there. the american profile of these foreign fighters is similar to the overall western profile. young, 1 in 6 are women. a keen point here for the american recruits is 9 out of 10 were active on online jihadi websites. that does not mean sending e-mails, that means posting repeatedly on jihadi websites. the war in syria and iraq very deadly. half of these foreign fighters, the male ones, are dead.
are, not onmales the front lines. witness is brian michael jenkins president of the , rand corporation. also director of the transportation national security center. a decorated veteran, served as a member of the white house commission on aviation safety and security for president clinton as well as an advisor to , the national commission of terrorism. mr. jenkins. mr. jenkins: thank you very much for inviting me to address this urgent issue. i would like to be able to report that in response to the terrorist attacks in paris, all of the perpetrators have been identified and apprehended and will be executed probably. that airstrikes have smashed the islamic state and that an event like this will never happen again. the reality is that this
conflict is likely to go on. there are no quick or easy solutions. and terrorists certainly will attempt further attacks. let me give you some observations from the written testimony i have presented. first with regard to the conflict itself. the fighting in syria and iraq will continue. right now, the situation is at the military stalemate. syria and iraq are now effectively partitioned. i think these partitions will persist. sectarian and ethnic divisions now drive the conflict, making them hard to settle. the world will be dealing with the fallout of this conflict for years to come. isil's ideology continues to exert a powerful pull, despite the coalition bombing. the number of individuals planning to join isil has not
diminished. isil is calling on more to come. the uniquely destructive nature of this conflict has produced 4 million refugees, cost 4 million to flee from syria and iraq. another 12 million internally displaced. these are the new palestinians. neighboring countries cannot absorb them. they would be a continuing source of instability. we will be dealing with this issue for decades. hundreds of thousands of these refugees have headed to europe, raising fears that terrorists can hide among them. some may have done, which brings me to the events in paris. the attack in paris offers important takeaways. it underscores the importance of intelligence. just how this group managed to get past french intelligence, we are still not sure. but the french services are simply being overwhelmed by volume. the numbers that peter
mentioned, of those who have gone from france, the numbers suspected of planning to go, the number in france suspected of planning to carry attack home grown terrorist attacks, that is simply overwhelming authorities. it is thousands. terroristbility of recruits and france and belgium and elsewhere in europe some societal problems of marginalized and alienated communities where extremist ideologies can easily take root. that is going to take a long time to fix. pressure on the u.s. to step up the fight against isil. certainly we can do more militarily, but we must keep cool and stay smart here. we should not be provoked into long-runthat, in the -- and this has the potential to be a very long run -- could prove to be unsustainable or counterproductive.
paradoxically, military success against isil and syria may heighten the threat of terrorism beyond. that is, it will scatter the foreign fighters, will validate isil's propaganda that this is the final showdown between believers and unbelievers, and we could see a surge of terrorism worldwide, even as we achieve some measure of success with isil in syria. further terrorist plots must be presumed. we must prepare for an array of scenarios, including arms on multiple occasions, like the ones we saw in paris, although we are more likely to see lower-level attempts that may also be lethal. with regard to refugees and immigrants, immigrants since the 19th century have brought their quarrels with them. the phenomenon is not new. these are extraordinary circumstances.
these are refugees from an active war zone where fighting continues loyalties are fluid. where our foes continue to exhort followers to carry out terrorist attacks here. this adds a layer of risk. the good news is the u.s. is not europe. the numbers here are much smaller. the american audience for isil propaganda remains unreceptive, they are simply not selling a lot of cars here. and the new laws and structures which congress has put in place to prevent terrorist attacks appear to be working. moreover, we are not dealing with hundreds of thousands of refugees landing on the shores, smaller numbers with more opportunities to vet and select them. the point is we are not just trying to filter out bad guys.
efforts to recruit and radicalize continue after arrival. this is not a one-time sign-up that gets us through. america historically has been successful at assimilating immigrants. finally, our domestic intelligence efforts have achieved a remarkable level of success. we are batting about 900. >> thank you mr. jenkins. daveedt witness is gartenstein-ross, a senior fellow at the foundation for defense of democracies. georgetown.t his body of work concentrates on al qaeda, the islamic state, and other jihadist organizations. chairman johnson, ranking it is an honor to testify before you today. i thought the first panel was quite strong. it was gratifying to see that it echoed my own conclusions in my written testimony.
i like to go over a couple of points then look at the broader issues. the first and most important point is that i concluded, as did the previous panel, that the risk of refugee resettlement in terms of moving operatives into the united states is a low because it is such an inefficient way to place operatives. not only do operatives have to wait 18 to 24 months, but they have to be selected. we are selecting about 10,000 out of over 2.1 million refugees in recognized unhcr camps. that is a very small figure. they have no control over whether an operative would be selected. and given the way that we privilege the most formal populations, it is highly unlikely that they would be. that being said, it's also significant that the previous panel acknowledged the intelligence gaps, which we need to be forthright about. characterized the
situation as one in which the risk we face is low, but there is not a no risk proposition. there is some risk. but the selection process significantly reduces the risk, as well as the inefficiency of moving operatives in. that being said, i think the selection process is much more of a barrier than the screening process. it is a multilayered screening process. but as fbi director comey acknowledged, as director rasmussen talked about we don't , have good visibility. that means we have inherent limitations on our intelligence. the recent events in paris underscore the limitations of this intelligence. not only do you have at least two cells in our interlocking, but you also have to look at travels of the mastermind of this attack. he was able to move from europe , after the plot he was involved in in belgium was interrupted on january 15, back into syria, then moved back into europe to personally direct the plot in france.
that is significant. that means while he was a wanted man, he was able to move past european authorities into syria, -- past european authorities again as he moved back in. that indicates a much more significant intelligence gap than anyone would have anticipated prior to this plot. the third thing is that i think it was very important to highlight the fact that when you're looking at vulnerabilities the united states has two terrorist entry things like visa waiver are just , more important than refugee resettlement. are talking about refugee resettlement so much is because of those dramatic pictures of large numbers of refugees and migrants moving into europe. but the situation that we face is very different in the united states. rather than a refugee population that is crossing into the borders, they are being selected out of camps. it is a fundamentally different situation. it makes sense for this legislative body to think about
those means of entry that are of highest risk. and definitively refugee , resettlement is not. the fourth point is i think we should think about the islamic state's use of refugees. not so much in the u.s. as in europe. because this is a problem that will arise. the islamic state these refugees that are fleeing its self proclaimed caliphate and syria as a major public relations problem. between september 16 and 19, they released a dozen videos about the refugee situation. it seems either one of the attackers used a refugee route or either planted a refugee passport or syrian passport after the attack. there is evidence that point in both directions. one thing that they will absolutely try to do is either infiltrate an operative that went into europe, or make it seem like that has happened in order to provoke a backlash against refugees. they have toughened up their desired to destroy the gray zone
between the european population and the mideast. that is something worth taking about. not so much as our own resettlement program, but if such an attack occurs, we need to have thought about that so that we can fashion appropriate policies. the final policy point i want to make is that, as several senators said, we should tend -- consider our policies towards syria to reduce destabilization. the final point in my written testimony pertains to our cia program for sponsoring rebels. it deserves much more scrutiny. there are some deep problems. i don't want to divert this hearing. but i think that is not separate from the overall issues. taking off my hat as an expert witness as an american i want to , thank you for this hearing. i think it was very sober at a time when we have had a political discussion which is extraordinary hyperbolic. senator mccaskill said should come together as americans. i think that is very important.
it's worth acknowledging that on both sides of the debate, people have legitimate concerns. on the one hand, some are concerned about security. are they safe? on the other hand, people are concerned about that we as americans are compassionate people, we want to welcome refugees. both sides should recognize that concerns legitimate and be able to talk about this and advance ourselves as opposed to having partisan finger-pointing. so thank you, as an american, for holding a hearing that was very reasonable and measured. >> thank you. our next witnesses eric schwartz the dean of humphreys school of , public affairs. he previously served as u.s. assistant secretary of state for refugees and migration. the second highest-ranking official in the office of the united nations commission of human rights. mr. schwartz.
mr. schwartz: thank you, mr. chairman. the committee asked that witnesses discuss any vulnerabilities in the program for resettlement of syrians. this is an important issue. but it is really only relevance if we believe we have a national , first, interest in resettling syrians. second, if we're confident that we are asking the correct security-related questions. i will talk about our national security interests first. nobody disputes the critical national security importance of issues surrounding the syrian conflict, stemming the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, supporting our friends and allies, sustaining economic relationships, defeating isis and other seeking terror,t campaigns of all campaigns that need u.s. leadership. in highly uncertain times, when more than any other time in memory we need the support of , our friends and our allies.
how does refugee resettlement of syrians address these concerns? more particularly, how might obstacles to the continuation of this program threaten our national interests? first, the program communicates a commitment to burden sharing to governments neighboring syria. we are asking turkey, jordan, and lebanon to continue to host some 4 million refugees. are expecting their support for our efforts in the region it's important that we , sustain our resettlement efforts. it is counterproductive for us to send those governments a negative signal by shutting off resettlement programs in syria given all that they are doing. , second, if we are urging our european allies to implement humane policies for hundreds of thousands of syrians. again, our commitment to resettlement is critical. settlement to offer
will be perceived as hypocrisy and diminish our capacity to lead on issues of common concern. third, the battle against isis is also a battle of ideas in which isis rejects any notion of the compatibility of islam with other religions. our resettlement program rebukes that ridiculous notion. in putting those obstacles to particular groups, it puts those narratives and what we do worldwide. it is worth reflecting. i think we have to reflect on the fact that legislative efforts to single out particular programs in iraq and syria risk playing into that narrative. and it might, indeed be welcomed , by our adversaries. finally, the united states has long advocated resettlement based on applicant vulnerability.
would help aat group or not would undermine our leadership. if there is a compelling interest in resettling syrians, what questions regarding vulnerability should we be asking? first, we should not be asking whether the syrian refugee resettlement program, or for that matter, any immigration program, can guarantee against admission of an individual with ill intent. to put this in perspective, the team 2010 and 2013 -- between 2010 and 2013, some 40 million people entered the country to establish residence. almost none received anything -- some 4 million people entered the country to establish residence. almost none received anything like the scrutiny given to syrian refugees. syrian applications are the most thoroughly vetted applicants in the process, involving reviews by the intelligence, security, and law enforcement agencies. all applicants provide biometric and biographical data. and undergo detailed interviews by officers of dhs.
i am convinced that these and other measures do provide a robust degree of safeguards that more than justify continuation of this program in light of the national security and humanitarian interests they serve. in conclusion, in yesterday's mithsonian.com websites, there was a story of a man who claimed to be a persecuted jewish refugee. his story unraveled and he was convicted conspiracy and planned espionage. the event helped to stoke the contention that jews could be part of a fifth column of spies , as united states officials turned their back on those who were in need of protection from the holocaust. there were some voices who condemned this action. but they were drowned out in the name of national security. members of the committee, i hope that we can ensure that voices supporting protection of the vulnerable are not drowned out
and recognize that our refugee admissions program not only meets our national security interests but reflects our values as a people. >> thank you. lavinial witness is limon -- did i pronounce that correctly? >> yes. >> very unusual i get that right. she is one of -- he is the director of the u.s. citizenship -- theigration services u.s. committee for refugees and immigrants. one of the 9 agencies contracted with the state department to resettle refugees in the west. she has more than 30 years of experience. ms. limon: on behalf of the u.s. committee for refugees and immigrants, a national nonprofit organization serving refugees and immigrants, with a network of over 90 agencies and offices around the nation, i am honored to testify before you today in support of the u.s. refugee resettlement program and to provide information on the program.
i want to thank you, chairman johnson, for complementing our security screening staff sheet, which my staff works hard to keep up-to-date. it has been around for about two years and we keep changing it as we learn more. we are the outside, so we do not have inside information, but even the government people say we have it right, so that is exciting. >> i always appreciate good information. ms. limon: thank you. for over 100 years we have , addressed the needs of forced migration worldwide. we are proud to do this work in the united states, because our country is the world leader in providing protection to people who need it. this global refugee crisis requires strong leadership, and the u.s. will inherently make a statement by our presence or our absence. for refugees who are the most vulnerable, even after fleeing their countries -- the torture survivors, women at risk, those
with complex medical situations -- for those individuals, resettlement is often the only option. for refugees who have languished in refugee camps without the right to work, with their children denied education, these are the individuals for whom we stand. we must not let the heinous acts in paris make us turn our backs on children and families when our heritage and history is to welcome refugees into the united states. when i was invited to testify, i went out to our network. i said, "tell me what syrian refugees that we have resettled are saying. " i want to share some of their messages with you. a syrian refugee who came to detroit with his wife and four children in september wanted everyone to know that he and his family are so happy to feel and be safe again after arriving in the united states. he told us "i truly appreciate the kindness of the american people that we witnessed."
a syrian family who arrived in erie, pennsylvania last night told us they were very happy to finally arrive in the united states after many years of waiting. the family was very thankful to be in pennsylvania. the father was an electrician in syria. he and his wife managed to keep alive while being displaced almost three years. the father said he held an overwhelming sense of relief now that his children was finally safe. a syrian refugee in california had a video and music shop in damascus before having to flee with his mother because of the conflict. they escaped to lebanon, where they stayed for two years, before they were admitted to the united states as refugees in february this year. he told us "there are many , many innocent people that really need help."
and he feels so blessed and lucky that he had the opportunity to resettle to the united states and wishes to see more syrians have the ability to come here. uscri supports a solutions-based approach. based on our experience, we have the following recommendations. we would like the u.s. refugee program to be supported through all aspects of our government as a safe humanitarian and foreign policy operation. we would like to see funding for the department of homeland security increased to maintain the integrity of the security checks. we would like to see increased support for the office of refugee resettlement to enhance the integration of newly arrived refugees. as a former director of the federal office of refugee resettlement, and after a four-year career -- we give you that information -- of helping refugees, i am proud and confident that are resettlement program works and is in the best interest of america.
thank you for holding this hearing. and thank you for listening to our point of view. ms. limon.u, mr. gartenstein ross, let me start with you. you talked about the refugee flow -- just to clarify this, you think is a public's relations disaster for isis? mr. gartenstein-ross: yes. this is something they have made clear in their own propaganda. they purport to be the world's home for muslims. the fact that people are fleeing from them and other syrians, rather than going from assad controlled areas, are going to europe rather than into isis held areas. >> that is the point i wanted to make. in other hearings, briefings, we are being told that the refugee flows out of isis controlled areas is primarily because of
assad bombing his own people. it is really the syrian government's genocide that is really causing the refugee problem. mr. gartenstein-ross: it is both. when you look at the flow out of mosul when the christians left, that was all because of isis. but yes, if you are looking at it, it is not as if most refugees are fleeing isis. i agree with those assessments. but let us be clear. there are refugees fleeing isis. the other point is the reason that it is a public relations disaster is that isis is right there in syria. sen. johnson: they should be flowing into isis because isis is a wonderful place. mr. gartenstein-ross: exactly. sen. johnson: let's talk about the greatest risk. as we have heard testimony, the vetting process is redundant. it is robust, as you said. pretty inefficient if you are trying to salt people into the united states, at least. less so going into europe. as i said in my opening statement, i view the greatest risk literally as our completely
unsecured borders. people flowing into countries and then potentially coming here. i want to go down the panel, what is the greatest risk? then i will be asking you what is the number one thing that we should do? mr. bergen. gen: the agreement in europe is the risk. it is unclear that european countries understand he was coming in. for instance, the mastermind. his travels. it seems that the french did not know what the belgians new and they were not sharing information. that is the main problem. then the waiver program. then the big thing we are missing is a global database of who these people are. we only know 4500 names. there are 30,000 of them. if we don't know who these people are, everything else is moot. sen. johnson: so the free flow in europe combined with the visa
waiver program creates real risk to americans? >> yes. sen. johnson: mr. jenkins. mr. jenkins: first of all, i would agree that you and senator mccaskill appropriately broaden the inquiry from simply refugees to looking at the whole thing. look at immigration, visa, visa waiver, and border security and see what are our gaps in the most likely routes for terrorists. there is probably consensus that refugees may be the least productive route for them. i certainly would agree with peter that a major vulnerability is europe. one because of the numbers, two because they do not have the capability of selecting. these are people that are arriving. the europeans are then trying to sort them out. a third problem is that the
europeans are not sharing information with each other in these senses. as a consequence of that, i think that either cooperation within europe is going to increase, or we are going to see increasing border controls within europe. that will challenge the european notion of free movement altogether. border controls are going to come back up. the weakness that i think that we have in our system overall is that we are dependent on lists of names. we do not have, in terms of looking at visas -- we have a robust system for interviewing refugees and for screening that. but a lot of these other things are dependent on a name being on a list. if we don't have a name on a list, we don't have much else to go on. it would be useful, at the very
least, if we could develop new ways of looking at this that we can say, look, there are some of these people we can clear pretty fast because of who they are, and there are others that will simply are going to require a new way of taking a look at this. sen. johnson: those people have not treated that ripple. i will take this up, but i will go to senator heitkamp. sen. heitkamp: thank you. i think what you are talking about is so important. --hare your complementary complimentary statements with the chairman. i think we have a great panel here. just to kind of begin it, from everything i have read in your testimony and what you presented here, would you say that the focus that we have put at this
point solely on the refugee resettlement program is perhaps misplaced and it has diverted attention from much more critical security issues that we have? it seems to be unanimous on the panel, just let the record reflect everyone is nodding their head. if you disagree, please weigh in. you represent a great cross-section of national security experts. would you say your view is kind of the majority view of people who study national security? so you guys must talk to each other at some point here. can you tell me, building on what the chairman has asked, what things you think we are missing that we have not talked about today. obviously, the visa waiver program is on everyone's mind. along with senator feinstein, we are introducing a bill to
address what we see as gaps. she has been on this a long time, obviously it is more timely now. it will be a great bipartisan bill. we expect a great discussion on it. but what are we missing that people within your expertise today are saying, "wow, why don't they get this?" and that is for anyone. >> one of the key things i agree with- and i peter entirely about the greatest threat in terms of theorist entry being schengen zone and the visa waiver -- i think the key thing for me is in the past because of the schengen agreement there is , certain information that the united states does not get from european allies. over the course of the past several months, we have seen the virtual collapse of the schengen agreement, which means our leverage with our european allies is at an all-time high. so, i would strongly recommend senators to talk to u.s. customs and border protection to figure
out what they need -- what information they need from europeans -- and where schengen in the past has posed a risk to u.s. border security and what we would be able to do with multilateral negotiations with our european allies. sen. heitkamp: other things we have missed? mr. bergen: what is right is when you look turkey ispaganda, important. any encouragement or expertise we can give to turks to increase their border control would be very useful. that is where overwhelmingly the foreign fighters are coming in. mr. jenkins: let me add to a comment by daveed. in terms of your. this probably will be more about
bilateral agreements then multilateral. there are profound differences in europe, policy differences, even philosophical differences about how to deal with these issues. about intelligence issues, privacy issues, resettlement issues, about returning foreign fighters, whether they should be charged with criminal violations or whether they should be rehabilitated and put back into society. when you deal with that many differences in a group like the european union, it tends to dilute the efforts down to sort of the least common denominator. and so, we really have to work closely on a bilateral basis to ensure that we are getting the information that we need for our own national security interest. sen. heitkamp: go ahead. >> i would just make four brief points. they are a little this jointed,
since we have been talking about different issues. first, i think support for front-line states is absolutely critical. part of a letter from 22 former officials, including deputy secretary wolfowitz. and former undersecretary for policy michele flournoy and others. authorizing an allocation of up to $2 billion in large measure to support jordan and turkey, because they are experiencing such significant challenges that that would be a very valuable symbol of solidarity and support. my second comment is i agree with the other panelists that the refugee program is not anywhere near the major threat. my third of four points is i agree we need to take a very close look at the visa waiver program and other programs, but i also think we have to accept the fact or understand the fact,
without prejudice to that about point the visa waiver program, we have to accept the fact that our strength is also our vulnerability. our system of immigration is responsible for creating a superpower. without the kind of immigration policies that we have had over the past century or more, the united states would not have achieved the kind of political and economic dominance that we have in the world. we have been spared some of the very challenging, dramatically challenging, existential challenges that some of our european allies and japan face. that is our strength, but it is also our vulnerability. ms. limon: senator, i think the greatest risk is we allow our political discourse and climate in the united states make it
acceptable to be anti-refugee, anti-immigrant, to say things that are negative and stereotypical of people, whereby the mainstream population thinks it is ok to turn our back from newcomers. i think when you look at europe, you can see the sort of social isolation a lot of their communities live with every day. beauty of america, is we do not -- the strength of america, the beauty of america, is we do not do that. that our values and our ability to simulate -- i will use that old fashion word -- we do, in fact, assimilate new people. by the second and third generation they usually cannot speak their grandparents' or parents' language. when people are willing to share our values of freedom and individuality at acceptance and corporation they become , americans.
we look at them at some point and go, they are americans. i do not know when that shift takes place, but it takes place. and that ability to incorporate keeps us from having that group that may turn on us internally. so we have to keep that political discourse in the leadership to say to the american people -- and it's not easy because people are different and people do not like different and it makes everyone uneasy -- but it is the leadership that has to have the dialogue that reinforces the beauty and sanctity of america. >> unfortunately the past is not , a predictor of the future. that is a particular question. i will start with mr. gartenstein ross again, what do you think about the greatest risk? mr. gartenstein-ross: as i said i agree with peter about the schengen agreement and the problems in europe being the greatest immediate risk in terms of terrorist entry. i want to highlight something else that is very much related.
this hearing, for good reason, has focused on the islamic state and isis. but our enemy of the past decade and a half has been al qaeda, which has been pushed from the headlines, and this is not a good thing. al qaeda today enjoys a lot more freedom of movement than anyone would have thought possible five years ago. if you look at recent u.n. deal listings of high-level leaders, you can see a of un's sanctions are getting peeled back. al qaeda is receiving state support in syria. a coalition is getting support from qatar, from turkey, from saudi arabia, and i think we need to pay attention to this rebranding of al qaeda as a more reasonable jihadist force. this is something that if we do not pay attention to it now, i believe we will fully regret this in several years. not just in terms of immediate
entry to the u.s., but ability to operate in the world. >> for my part, i refer to them as islamic terrorists. they are at war with civilization. mr. schwartz, greatest threat? mr. schwartz: i'm sorry? in terms of -- on. johnson: i could sign tonight mccullen -- to mike mcmullen and say our debt and deficit, but this hearing is about the threat we face because of islamic terrorism. again, we're talking about our vulnerabilities. those types of things. we're looking at more statistics from that standpoint. mr. schwartz: yes. sure, as i said before, my is on immigration and our refugee program in particular. to my mind, the refugee program
is far from our greatest threat. i think it is a durable program with the processes -- sen. johnson: but what is our greatest vulnerability within these programs? within our acceptance of refugees and asylum-seekers and immigrants? mr. schwartz: as i said, i don't -- i think it is clear the visa waiver program has greater vulnerabilities than the u.s. refugee resettlement program, but i am not an expert on all of the immigration programs. i can tell you the refugee resettlement program, which i know very, very well, is not one of those. if i could just make one other point, which i made in my testimony but really think is important, is if members of congress feel that the department has made the case about the security procedures in the refugee resettlement program, i would really think long and hard on this issue of
additional legislation because of my concern it does play right into the narrative of us against them, our choosing a particular group to create greater obstacles where we have a system that is rigorous and responsible. i think our geopolitical interests require that we reflect very carefully about that kind of legislation. i would say even if the president promises to veto it, the introduction of it and the passage of it, i think, is very worrisome. limon, do youms. want to take another stab at it? ms. limon: since last week, my office has received many phone calls of people who are extraordinarily worked up about syrian refugees. they will say things like "i live in des moines. i want the names and addresses of all of the syrians you have brought here."
that is one of the more polite things that are said. it has been kind of scary. when we look at resettling refugees right now -- and as i said, some arrived in erie last are going toe arrive in chicago tomorrow. and we have state government officials saying to us we want to the names and addresses of these people and we are like, , whoa, what is going on here? these people are legally admitted to the united states. we need to protect them. these are people who have been persecuted, fleeing violence and persecution because of their race and religion and they come to america, the land of the free, and we have to say you may be persecuted because of your membership in a particular ethnic group. it's a very dangerous time, and i will tell you, there are thousands of people who do this work around the country calling us going what am i supposed to , do? >> which is why i think a certification process would give
the american people of the assurance of they are probably looking for. senator carper? sen. carper: i apologize for being internet. something i said earlier that i think you heard -- and i talked about competing moral imperatives -- and one of the moral imperatives that was reminded to us by pope francis a month or two ago was our obligation to the least of these. when i was hungry, did you feed me? when i was a stranger in your land, did you take me in? i think the admonition at -- i think the biggest applause line he got when he was out congress was when he invoked the golden rule. i think everybody stood on their feet and applauded for a long time. we have that moral imperative
that faces us squarely. and i am reminded every day of those imperatives as we confront this challenge. but we also have a moral imperative to the people who live here and want to be able to live to a ripe old age and live a good life. the question is can we do both? we have to be true to one and not the other? another committee i serve on -- one of the reasons i was out of the room, my responsibilities on the environment that has oversight over the nuclear regulatory commission. we are always wrestling with the question in that committee, can we have cleaner air, cleaner water? and at the same time a stronger economy? i think we can have both. if we are smart, we will have both. but in terms of the moral imperatives, how do we meet both moral imperatives? especially the latter one? to keep people safe. one is the rigors of the refugee program, which i think is pretty well demonstrated now.
and going down the visa waiver program and see what is good about that. is there more we can do, is there something we can improve on? i think what the administration has nominated, i think is very good. zuban, he isto say a terrific guy in his nomination is hung up in the banking committee for reasons i do not understand. that would help bring them to their need on the financial side. cut off their funding. they did the same thing with north korea, and we would like them to do that with isis, too, if we can get them confirmed. if you could just respond to my questions, thank you. >> we have become a risk-averse, security obsessed nation. that is understandable. we are still in the shadow of 9/11. we are dealing with these extraordinary times and threats. but we cannot remove all risk.
we have been doing a pretty good job in terms of our domestic intelligence, in terms of preventing these attacks, and so on, but we don't get to zero. the problem is, if we try to get to zero, that has costs in other directions. costs in terms of real economic cost, if we were to abolish the these a waiver program. abolish the visa waiver program. costs in terms of moral costs, in terms of our reputation as a society. so, i think part of it is, without this missing the very real threat -- and this is very much a long-term thing. this is the shape of things to come. but we have to be able to accept that none of these programs, not one of these, provides us with an absolute guarantee. no amount of screening, no
signatures or so on -- you can, as the senate, keep the heat on people on this, and that's important, because over a period time, measures become routine, people become slack. you can energize that, but we do not get to zero. >> excellent point. mr. bergen: i would just like to make an observation. every person who has been killed -- t a jihadi the real problem, the domestic terrorism program is provoked by domestic, homegrown terrorists. senator carper: that's a good point. >> i certainly agree that the refugee resettlement program has robust procedures in it to help ensure the security of americans. i also believe the refugee resettlement program is the best
expression of american values and the moral imperative. but let me repeat what i said in my testimony, which is i also believe, in this particular instance and in many others, the continuation of this program serves a vital national security imperative. burden sharing with front-line states that are hosting over 4 million refugees. burden sharing with european governments, that we are asking to treat humanely hundreds of thousands of syrian refugees. these are governments that we need in terms of the geopolitical objectives that we are trying to achieve in syria and other places of the world. and third and most importantly, we rebuke the isis narrative of us versus them. it is an expression -- our program is an expression of the proposition that it is not the
muslim world and everyone else. that that isis narrative, that we combat it day in and day out with our refugee program. we have stakes in this program that go far beyond our humanitarian imperatives. >> wonderful points. thank you. thank you all. >> mr. jenkins, you talked about the intelligence community being overwhelmed by it -- overwhelmed by volume. keep cool, stay smart. i don't think anyone will dispute we can't turn this into a risk-free world, but these are threats. and i believe these threats are growing. we just witnessed it in paris. if we sit down and play defense the whole time, i don't think that is particularly smart. how to we go on offense? how do we solve the problem? mr. jenkins: i would not argue for a defensive strategy. togree that we do have
become more effective in how we deal with this in syria. i happen to think it is not by deploying large numbers of american forces on the ground. i think the numbers that people mention underestimate the task. i think that that would become very, very quickly an unsustainable thing. can we do other things? with the error campaign, with increasing the number of special operations personnel? i think we can even do more creative things. for example, our efforts to create a guerrilla army and throw it into battle against isis, that has turned out -- sen. johnson: obviously did not work. mr. jenkins: it didn't work. however, that does not mean competitive recruiting will not work. i'm not talking about throwing people into battle. i am talking about among sunnis
that are exposed to isil's area of influence, it may make more sense to recruit them and pay them, in a sense just to be on our payroll, rather than spending the money to go after them. let's provide a place in syria to get people on board. sen. johnson: has the threat grown or receded in the last year and a half? mr. jenkins: i would say in some cases, certainly, we have checked isil's advance. sen. johnson: but has the threat grown or receded? you say the intelligence community is overwhelmed, is it growing? mr. jenkins: the intelligence community in europe is overwhelmed by the volume. sen. johnson: that is our greatest threat is what you're telling us. mr. jenkins: it is. sen. johnson: that threat is growing. so the risk is increasing. mr. jenkins: the risk of terrorism outside is going up. that, i think, is true. for a variety of reasons.
in fact, as i said, even as we have more success on the ground, that threat is outside. you can't connect, you can't look at the threat outside as evidence of failure inside syria. that threat can go up even with success inside. sen. johnson: but this committee is to enhance the economic situation. you have a destabilized middle east. you start destabilizing nations in europe, that destabilizes the entire world economy, and that also affects our economic situation as well. mr. jenkins: it clearly does. so far, though, so far, we have been able to manage this. this is a matter of can we improve things as opposed to fundamentally alter our strategy? of time, ieriod
think we have been extraordinarily cautious. sen. johnson: do you think it is a good thing that iran and russia is gaining greater influence in the middle east? russia, regional security in the middle east? mr. jenkins: russia is not a newcomer to syria. i mean, when i -- when the syrian -- sen. johnson: i understand, but the influence is growing in the middle east, correct? mr. jenkins: i'm not sure that it is. sen. johnson: mr. gartenstein ross, do you think that a good thing? mr. gartenstein-ross: no, i don't think it's a good thing that russian or iranian influence are growing, which they undoubtedly are. in terms of the strategy there , are things we can do, as brian said. this is not a duck to your question. why direct answer is the threat has grown worse in the last year and a half, but number one, if you look on the ground in iraq and syria, isis has had a steady year of losses. with one good week in may.
but publicizing their losses is very important because they have a narrative of strength. one area where the u.s. has clearly failed is it has not publicized their losses, including those outside of iraq and syria. they have four major losses in africa that almost no one is aware of, including people in africa. i know this because at an african union summit last month in namibia people were , absolutely unaware of all of isis's setbacks there. the second reason i would say things have grown worse is if you look at the terrorism problem writ large, tunisia is fundamentally threatened in ways that it was not two years ago. yemen is falling apart. that is not in isis issue. there are many other things but the overall situation is where violent nonstate actors are gaining much, much more ground. this is a real problem. not just the problems that of terrorism, but the problem set of the democratization of violence.
we are going to see much more violence at a substate level. these concerns, particularly what senator carper describes as competing imperatives, when discourse becomes so locks and jaded, as we have recently seen, we do ourselves a disservice in terms of being able to reason through together as one body these very, very difficult issues that we are going to be grappling with for a long time to come. senator johnson: senator carper? senator carper: thank you. i am questioning the influence of the russians and ukrainians are waning. i think one of you said, maybe not so much and another said yes. talking about competing interests, we have competing interests in iran. we have one group led by the supreme leader and the revolutionary guard, and you have another group led by the
elected president. in a country where, i want to say like 78 million people, the average age of the country's 25. you have a generational divide there. we will see where they go. in the middle east it has more to do with shia , or sunni more than anything else. i want to go back to something, i think, mr. birkin, it was what you said. -- mr. bergen, it was what you said. the greatest threats to us. i do not believe from what i can tell that the greatest threats to us are necessarily with respect to syria and isis. i do not think they are necessarily related to those going through the refugee program. i'm not sure the greatest threats are going through the visa waiver program are the greatest threats or those coming on a tourist visa or a student visa or some other way i'm not thinking of. i think you said it.
the thing that keeps me up at night more than anything else is the folks that are here, homegrown, born here, raised here in many cases, and they become radicalized, and they can do great damage from the inside. those are the folks i worry about. threat, to address that reduce the threat, a couple of things. we talked about a couple of things and we are reiterating. i read a couple books not long ago about a woman named phyllis schwartz. do i have that right? not even close? [laughter] senator carper: jessica stern. she went all over the world. she met with all kinds of terrorist. i can't believe they let her in. they opened their hearts to her. the isis book is the newer book.
founde one thing that she in talking to all of these terrorists, a lot of them are faced based but they are people , who, mostly guys, who have not had a lot of success in their lives, and they were looking ways to the big time. the big time could be being in a military operation, being trained to be effective, to be killed in go to heaven, and you would have all of these brides, or wives. payroll.on somebody's if they do die, the families do get money from the organization, in this case isis. points that prevented me from reading her first book if isis is not successful, it if , they are losing territory, if we are cutting them off financially, they become a whole lot less attractive.
that is why it is so important, mr. chairman, so important to crush these guys sooner rather than later. the second piece is we actually have the ability, the department has theand security - ability to run a counter message within the muslim communities here and in our country where there's a lot of people and the young people are subject to being radicalized. they have a counter message to make sure that that is an effective message. so, those are a couple thoughts. do you want to react to any of that? if you do, please do -- mr. jenkins: i am a minnesotan by way of new york and washington. i have spent my last four and a half years at the university of minnesota. i do want to say a word about
the real great work of the u.s. attorney there, andrew lugar, who has -- well, you know the countering violent extremism program is one thing. but what he has done and his office have done, they had engaged refugee and immigrant communities in very significant and substantial ways in dialogue and discussion, helping to understand the challenges, without sacrificing in any way form, theanner, and law enforcement imperative of his office. and i think it is a real model for the rest of the country and deserves mention. senator carper: just a show of hands. on the issue of the greatest threat that we face to the homeland, whether it is folks,s, visa waiver student visas, homegrown, does anybody think the homegrown threat may be the biggest threat that we face? thank you.
four out of five. thank you. mr. jenkins: i do want to talk a -- senator johnson: i do want to talk a little bit about the incentives created. hundreds of thousands of refugees flown into europe. the more that are accepted in, won't more flow? isn't that a destabilizing -- again, miss leon, you talked about the problem of assimilation. around paris, you have 1.7 million muslim population, not particularly assimilated. people that lack futures so they are drawn to this sort of recruited in this type of ideology. from my standpoint, the answer is not to allow the flow to go because you will exacerbate the problem. isn't that a problem? anybody? ms. limon: yes, it's a problem. i think it is pretty
unprecedented as well, since world war ii, the idea of all of these people coming in, and i -- i think europe faces huge challenges in dealing with this. but i think it is also time, germany -- merkel says, ok, fine, we will bring in, i think they are bringing in 800,000 people. she sees that as a benefit to her country, which i happen to agree with her, but they are going to have to do this wholeheartedly. and that is when you talk about communities outside paris, it's second and third generation moroccans and middle eastern or others who do not feel like they are french. johnson: again, it's the lack of a similar is a test assimilation the balkanization , of society that is not a good thing. it's destabilizing. ms. limon: and we have to make sure we do not do that here.
senator johnson: i do have to challenge you. you talk about all of the attacks by american citizens, but we do have the tsarnaev brothers. the 9/11 hijackers were on visa overstays. we are kind of ignoring the fact that islamic terrorists have been at war with us since at least the mid-1990's, we did have 9/11. and by the way, talking about are they perceived as winners or losers, you have successful, and i would consider low-tech terrorist event in beirut, i would say another successful, low-tech terrorist event in paris. i do push back the sophistication of this. people talk about sophisticated -- it takes an awful lot of planning. it seems to me to be pretty easy to say here are the targets, , here is where we are going to hit them at zero hour. take a look at the weapons. readily available on the black market. i think the explosives may be a little bit more complex, but
just speak to the real threat and the growing threat. mr. bergen. mr. bergen: you are right. the attacks in paris were not sophisticated. but they were complex. they were highly complex. the point i was trying to make, since 9/11, the tsarnaev brothers came as minors in this country. the real problem is they were radicalized here. years -- the last two senator johnson: point taken. anyone else want to comment? mr. gartenstein-ross: you made a point about winners and losers. obviously, this is a point where isis has had a string of successes. at if they have a campaign, it's not going to be particularly effective. at but i think there is strong proof -- and i testified before the senate about this back in -- that they april demonstrate their
strength. i think we can do a better job knocking that down, bearing in mind that when they have big successes like these awful attacks likely just seen, you will not be able to convince people that they are on the losing side. senator johnson: i would argue that their sophistication is the use of social media. the way that they are able to recruit and inspire people to join this barbarity that takes , some dedication to convince people to blow themselves up. but the actual attacks themselves strike me as relatively low-tech, which gives me a great deal of concern. did you want to say something? mr. bergen: no, i completely agree. can i adjustan, the other question you asked about incentives? >> sure. secretary schwartz: in most cases when you're dealing with migration and it is economic migration, you feel you can as a
matter of policy and ethics, it is reasonable to create certain to undocumented migration. the dilemma in the syria case is yes, there are internally displaced foreign refugees, but very few of those are people who did not have good reason to move based on persecution, abuses, or conflict. now traditionally, there are three ways that people -- people in a situation like that are resolved. either they are locally integrated into the places they flee. they return to syria. or to their country of origin. or they are resettled in a third country. and traditionally, third country resettlement is for a pretty small minority of refugees. senator johnson: which again is my point. it points to what the solution to be as an attempt to stabilize
the situation in syria and it rack, which requires wiping isis off the face of the earth in terms of their territory. i think that has to be the solution. i guess i was baffled, mr. jenkins, by your assertion that is going to make it even worse. mr. jenkins: no, it's not that i am saying -- look, don't go after them because it will make it worse. i am saying that as a consequence we have to be prepared for any way. that's not a reason not to go after them. we have to continue and indeed increase our efforts to destroy , isil. i have never been equivocal about going after isil. there is no option. there is no option that allows the continued existence of isil, and i agree with daveed. i don't make these distinctions
between a bad isil and a slightly less bad al qaeda. we are talking about an ideology -- senator johnson: islamic terrorism. i think as a civilized world, it is about time we begin, we come completely, 100% committed to defeating them. and i realize it is a long-term process, but we take care of one situation, we mop that up, we forget about it. mr. jenkins: that is the point here. that first of all, this is about this type of ideology. number one, that we must destroy the military formation. i can't tell you that will ever change people's souls or beliefs. there are still nazis in the world that believe in it. but we can destroy these organizations, and hell, i have
been the senator cato of this in terms of repeating regularly that furthermore, al qaeda and iso-must he destroyed -- isil must be destroyed. however, we have to accept this is going to be a very long task, and therefore -- and therefore, pick our way through this in a way that we can sustain it in the long run and not do things that will immediately erode both international and domestic public support and not do things that are going to be counterproductive. so, this is not about going after them. this is about how we go after them. senator johnson: i think we are on the same page here. it requires the 100% commitment by the civilized world to understand the reality of this. it's not going away. and it has to be destroyed. mr. jenkins: absolutely. senator johnson: anybody else? secretary schwartz: i would say there is nothing inconsistent between that objective and the efforts to bring together the
powers that are so dramatically impacting the situation on the ground in syria today. and if that doesn't happen -- and i credit the administration for the effort it is making -- because if that does not happen, the humanitarian crisis that really overlays this whole situation will just the continued because however , desirable these objectives are, the destruction of isis, that is a long-term proposition. and right now the imperative has , got to be to chart out some disposition for that situation in syria so that the humanitarian crisis that we are seeing can be addressed. senator johnson: i would say the imperative is to make it not so long-term. i would say the imperative is to shorten the term of when we finally do achieve basic victory. but anyway, let me give everyone
a chance to kind of summarize. i have taken enough of your time. we will start with you. ms. limon? ms. limon: thank you, senator. i was just going to add as we have already agreed the majority , of the refugees are fleeing the government of syria and a ssad, and having spent half of my career helping refugees fleeing that governments, i am really wishing we would start putting our attention on those actions -- not to take away from destroying isis and al qaeda and the rest of it -- that is a good thing. but when does the international community punish governments that have bad policies, that have people fleeing? we have hundreds of thousands of eritreansfleeing --
fleeing. i could give you a laundry list. senator johnson: i would say when america leads. secretary schwartz: i would only ask that if you and other members have a reasonable degree of confidence that the testimony of the administration was persuasive in terms of the kinds of security measures that are in place, i would just ask that you consider all of the implications with respect to our friends, our allies, governments, and people who are listening very, very closely to what comes out of the u.s. congress and the administration. i have expressed my views on this earlier in the hearing, so you know -- senator johnson: i generally do
try and consider everything. i think a simple certification provides the american people that kind of assurance that all of these redundant safeguards, all of these vetting processes are done. we require verification from ceo's under sarbanes-oxley -- secretary schwartz: why this particular program? senator johnson: because of the last five weeks. mr. gartenstein-ross? mr. gartenstein-ross: we talked at great length about the primary topic, which is the risks of refugee resettlement. we had consensus on this panel. so, let me just point to a couple of things that relate to the last round of questioning. i think one thing that i would love to see the legislature exercise more oversight over is our cia program for arming syrian rebels. a lot of the recent revelations
are extraordinarily disturbing, and i think they are making the situation worse in terms of the primary topic we are talking about, which is refugees. also, it is a disservice to our strategic interests. the second thing i will say, you talked about winners and losers, and that's another area where i also think the legislature can play a very strong role. this is obviously the time when isis has a number of prominent wins in terms of awful, deadly attacks. they are also experiencing some losses the loss of sinjar, their , major holding ramadi is now increasingly threatened. to be able to publicize that is important. the final thing, because you asked about the influence of iran and russia. iran has been at the forefront of pushing back isis. this is not a fully positive thing at all. the atrocities being committed by the pro-iran shia militias against sunnis is the kind of
thing that lays the groundwork for this being a tragedy that will continue adding into for an item. this is the kind of thing not getting attention now that richly deserves it. mr. jenkins? mr. jenkins: we don't like to use the term, but we are at war. we have been at war for a long time on this. that means we are going to incur costs. we are going to incur risks in this. we cannot say on the one hand, we are committed to a war, we are going to go after these people, and on the other hand, treat every time we confront a risk as though it were an outrage of failure. -- an outrage, a failure. so if we are going to be as determined as i believe you are, that has consequences, not just from what we do in terms of , but after i saw, -- isil
how this nation ought not to be panicked into fear as we go forward with this, which sometimes i think we tend to do. senator johnson: let's lay out the reality and get a broad spectrum viewpoint on this, and i think we have done a pretty good job on this. mr. bergen. mr. bergen: this hearing has shown light on an issue that has become quite politicized. one thing we do not want to do is to come back here in 2019 having the same hearing about afghanistan, because the plan to draw down to zero in afghanistan is not a good idea. we have already seen how this video plays out. isis already has a small presence in afghanistan, which is growing. we do not want to make the same mistake we did in iraq. senator johnson: thank you, mr. bergen.
i really want to thank all of the witnesses. i come from a manufacturing background. facte information, i like s. i hate demagoguery. all of you and the previous panel, too, i really do appreciate the administration -- this was a very fast turnaround for the administration to provide us witnesses. i think it has been to their benefit on this issue. again, i appreciate all of you bringing forward information for the american people to hear. with that, this hearing record will remain open for 15 days until december 4, 5:00 p.m. for the submission of statements and questions for the record. this hearing is adjourned.
>> usa today reports that the white house aides have used a mechanical device known as the auto pen to sign a two-week extension of highway funding while president obama is in malaysia. this photo shows the president of the company that manufactures auto pens demonstrating how they work. the presidential envoy for the counter isision to is briefing the state department this afternoon.
he will talk about the effort to combat isis and will take questions from reporters. you can see that live on c-span at 2:00 p.m. >> every weekend on american history tv on c-span3, 48 hours of programs and events the tell our nations story. our new series road to the white 1988 rewind looks at the political campaign of george h w bush. the film "the last two days," a fateful trip jfk's to texas. withat 5:00, we are back the back story of the american history guys. university of richmond president -- discussscomfort dw griffith's film "birth of a nation" and its implications.
guests is damien paletta. good morning. >> great to be with you. >> paris attacks have sparked a lot of questions about encryption technology. could you tell us what that is? >> whenever i send a text message to you, let's say we both have iphones and we send it through i message, that text message can only be read by you through your iphone and read by me who sends it. apple cannot read it, the government cannot read it. it is encrypted, just a bunch of jumbled letters and numbers to anyone else. oft is an extreme example something that has gotten popular in the last few years. a lot of companies are offering these e-mail or text message services that allow to -- allow you to encrypt your messages.
that was seen as a very popular evolution in technology. it has been more than a decade in progress, but since the edward snowden revelations in 2013 when there was a lot of public revelations about government snooping and hackers getting access to our personal information, there has been a big push to silicon valley to make our information more private. i think a lot of folks in law enforcement feel there is danger in this as well. they want people to feel secure but at the same time do not want potential terrorists, pedophiles, that sort of person to have the ability to trade secret information that they cannot have access to if they feel there is an imminent threat. intense debately about whether the government needs to get access to information in emergency situations. >> does that debate extend to capitol hill? >> it does, but they do not know
what to do. it needs to be some sort of dialogue with silicon valley. code,s just encryption, either it is encrypted or not. if you enforce a law or pass a law that says this information cannot be completely encrypted, then potentially russia and china can get access to it. all sorts of people could find a way to crack the code. >> our guest is going to talk about these issues of data and privacy. 748-8000 four democrats. hillary clinton was in new york yesterday for part of her discussion on what to do with -- about isis. here is what she had to say. ms. clinton: we should take the concerns of law enforcement and
terrorist officials seriously. the have warned that impenetrable encryption may prevent them from accessing terrorist communications. there are legitimate concerns about government intrusion, network security, and creating new vulnerabilities that bad actors can and would exploit. we need silicon valley not to view government as its adversary. we need to challenge our best minds in the private sector to work with our best minds in the public sector, to develop solutions that will both keep us safe and protect our privacy. >> damien paletta, if i am silicon valley, how am i responding? >> two weeks ago we would've said give us a break, we are just going to ignore you. silicon valley sees this a lot differently after the paris attacks.
they do not want to be in a situation where there was a terrorist attack and it is discovered their encryption technology was used. that is potentially a nightmare for any company. she madek the points are very interesting. law enforcement has some very valid points but on the other hand, privacy advocates have good points to. she does not have an answer. the white house does not have an answer. people feel there has to be discussion but they do not know what to do. that is the discussion that is beginning on the hill. on the one hand, i cannot pressure these companies because they might just resist that. if you pressure u.s. companies into changing their encryption policy, maybe folks would use an app made in germany or russia or china. try -- time hand,
is of the essence. we cannot be in a situation where it takes five to 10 years to figure out. >> a back door opening as far as access to data. my text message to you is encrypted and only you and i can see it, there is this idea that the government can come in three backdoor. circumstances they can, and say there might be a national security risk. a lot of folks in the technology world feel like that is kind of unworkable, either it is unencrypted or it is not. if the government has a key to decrypt certain information, who was going to say they are not going to go overboard and decrypt whatever they want or take this to an extreme? that is one of the big risks. >> damien paletta is our guest.
ralph from north carolina, on our independent line. [no audio] -- caller: i was wondering why we cannot have better satellite systems to surveillance isis on the ground. if you cannot see black flags flying with tanks and jeeps running down the road, i just do not understand why we are not using more of that technology. guest: it is a really interesting point. i think after the islamic state took ramadi, they took the town and there was these videos that will like miles of truck convoys flying the islamic state flag. i think people wonder, why can't they just wipe out that whole stretch? that is a great question, and i do not think we know the answer to that. the government is telling us --
is very careful about telling us what they do and do not have access to. they are working really hard on the sorts of things. that sort of information tracking is one thing, but obviously we are talking about something different. that is the kind of stuff that is encrypted and causing a lot of this debate. host: west river, maryland, democrat line. caller: good morning, how are you. i hear so many people call in and so many guests on c-span that do not seen to be up on what is happening at all. i am just amazed. when i hear people who do not seem to realize that the president's strategies are working, have been working, that we have driven isis out of the
areas where they had taken over and had control, that americans need to realize that we have to make a choice. lydia up next, and less you want to respond. guest: this is a different kind of terrorist network. they plan these external terrorist attacks. the islamic state has portions of territory they control but also this agenda with their planning external attacks. it is very difficult and i think the white house would not say their strategy has been a success. they are trying to contain the group within iraq and syria and stop these attacks, but it really is a challenge. host: it was the cia director earlier that talked about encryption. a significanteen
increase in the operational security of a number of these operatives and the terrorist networks as they have gone to school on what it is that they need to do in order to keep their activities concealed from the authorities. as i mentioned, there are a lot of technological capabilities that are available right now that make it exceptionally difficult, both technically as well as legally for security to have the insight they need to uncover it. i do think this is a time for particularly europe as well as the united states, for us to take a look and see whether or not there have been some or intentional gaps in theve been created ability of intelligence and security services to protect the people that they are asked to serve. years, the several cost of the number of
unauthorized disclosures and a lot of handwringing over the government's role, and the effort to uncover these terrorists, there have been some policy and legal and other actions taken that make our ability collectively, internationally to find these terrorists, much more challenging. i do hope this is going to be a wake-up call, particularly in areas of europe where i think there has been a misrepresentation of what the intelligence and security services are doing by some quarters that are designed to undercut those capabilities. host: damien paletta, read between the lines. guest: this is the monday after the friday night attacks, and obviously he has access to a lot more information than you or i do. one thing that was confusing about his comments is that we do not know exactly how the terrorists planned this. we do not know what kind of encryption technology they used.
we do not know if they were making phone calls to syria. the fact that he said this message so quickly suggests there was some dark areas they did not have access to, somehow that public policy prohibited him from having access to it. it is hard for us to know exactly what policy, what new powers he is trying to get until we know exactly how the terrorist hold the thought. stagect that he sets the so quickly that this is something we have to talk about, cia directors do not tend to make public comments if they can avoid it. he is trying to send the message to the american people that we need to cool it with this privacy pendulum swing and look hard at some of the things we might be prohibiting these guys of doing. talkedour paper recently
about the islamic state and how they teach tech savvy, and a list of apps and other services that provide encryption. guest: one of the things that made them stand out in addition to their brutality is their tech savvy. , ay have these well polished most hollywood style propaganda videos they do and they are up on technology and encryption. they know which social media apps are the hardest for the governments to penetrate and which ones are the weakest -- weakest. they put together a tutorial for their members on some apps they should use and some they should stay away from. obviously we know that they can penetrate, hack into some apps but they are careful to say which ones they have access to and which ones they do not. "the wallou go to street journal," there is a story that lists the type of
-- safe, moderately safe, and not safe. damien paletta, our guest. there is the chart itself. let's hear from lydia, woodstock, illinois. host: thank you for this opportunity -- caller: thank you for this opportunity. i would like to have this confirmed or look into. family, thee bush walker side of the family is intensely involved in formulating some of the surveillance platforms. i believe they are also involved in the construction of the utah facility. out, thent to point previous guest if i'm correct is also part of the very, very powerful the family that constructs policy not only to
american enterprises institute, but also as part of that project for a new american century which was the formula that put all of this in place by making it a necessity for us to have a big military presence in the middle east. host: that is lydia from woodstock, illinois. guest: she did mention this utah facility. i wrote a story about this facility several months ago. it is a mysterious facility that was built out in the desert outside of salt lake city. host: built by whom? guest: it is on a government military base but its purpose was to essentially house all of this data being swept up by the national security agency. it is kind of out. it uses a tremendous amount of water to cool the computer. the nsa, obviously what they do
is a lot of secrecy. endgovernment has agreed to this nsa database program on the 29th of november. is, whate questions will happen to this facility in utah? what kind of data will they need to store if these bulk telephone records will no longer be housed in the government? int: let's hear from sandra indiana, republican line. caller: i do not think we can defeat terrorism without teaching about mohammed. he started wars. he had 14 wives, one was a nine-year-old. he had hundreds of sex slaves. he was a murderer and a thief, and he started is long. he -- he started islam. he is the founder and is there profit, and i think a false prophet. we must teach about the radical size -- side of islam because
they are acting out what mohammed proposed years ago. he is alive through the koran a 1400 years ago, and his teachings of hate and violence are with us today. i specialize more in encryption demo history of islam. seen in thee have past few days a lot more discussion on the campaign trail how americansand might feel towards them, what sorts of fears americans might have. i wonder how this debate is going to play out as the campaign progresses and as a lot of americans either start to feel safer or less safe, depending on the reaction to paris. i think they will be more public discourse about the specific religion. caller: how is technology used -- host: how is technology used for
indoctrination by isis? guest: there are many twitter handles used by islamic state supporters. they blast out their message. twitter will suspend them. they will reincarnate and keep sending their message out. if they find someone they think the sympathetic, who might be a potential convert or attracted to their message, they will send them a direct message via twitter. i am fairly certain taste on public statements the government has accessat the fbi to twitter. the next step is problematic to the government. the islamic state militant will send a message to the suppose it's empathize or saying, it is encrypted and we will take our conversation there. they will take their
conversation off of twitter and into this dark space, and who knows what they will plan from their. it could be something dangerous, devastating, or more propaganda. i am sure the government is trying to figure that out. that is how this fits together. virginia, alexandria, erin on the democrats line. caller: i think that a lot of people are hesitant or not really reluctant to give up their freedoms for security when it comes to being online. , if thee prevent government is giving access to decrypt messages, how do we prevent them from abusing it? instead of looking at previous technologies we have, can we start innovating things that will be able to identify terrorist activity online or not? from that side of the world,
there is no innovation. is it possible that we can start innovating things which would let them fall into our hands? [no audio] -- question asked a great and i think that is at the center of our debate. i think the reason silicon valley is receptive is because if they feel like they are not at the table, they will be on the table so they need to participate. they need to come up with some sort of boundaries potentially, safeguards to ensure that any government access cannot be taken advantage of. one idea the nsa director floated already, and it was sort of shot down but this was before paris, is this idea that the government will have a half a key to get into these messages but it can only work if the company itself provides the other half of the key.
the government cannot go in willy-nilly and start reading whatever it wants, only if it has the permission of the company and shows a specific case of why that needs to be done. host: brian on the independent line, go ahead. caller: you guys are talking about the internet and going to the dark side. there have been several ablealists who have been to talk to terrorists over the sites so i'm sure the government has. is the one that lied about them spying on us to congress so he should be prosecuted instead of being cia director. terrorists have known that they have been spied on since clinton was in administration. peoplejust the american that did not know that they were being spied on. they are kind of, they are going to find some way of communicating. also, the chechen brothers
were on a watchlist. france the people in the attack were on the watchlist, but no one is watching them. guest: one of the things that i think struck people is the french after the charlie hebdo shooting, after they had that domestic terror attack they passed a new law to give their intelligence community a lot more power to potentially track the sort of things down. then we have this terrorist attack in paris it seem like it happened under everybody's nose. they are wondering, what happened? the truth is, it is very hard to stop all of these attacks. even if they stopped 99 out of 100 that is still not considered a success because that one could be a very gruesome and horrifying event. the intelligence community has their hands full, especially with all of these foreign fighters who have gone to syria
and gone back and melted into their communities. it is hard to know who they need to monitor. in europe, there is potentially thousands that they have to keep their eyes on. they can watch them as we saw with the charlie hebdo shooting for more than a year, there is no activity, and then all of a sudden you take your eye off of them and something really bad happens. discussion of the internet in light of the paris attacks. damien paletta of the "wall street journal" is our guest. sir, thank you c-span for taking my call. i just wanted to, the basic isis, the battle against i think one of the things that i
am having a problem with is the battle against isis may be on one front, but i think there is another front. one of the things that we are isling with on the internet do want our civil liberties protected. as far as the battle against isis, and i'm going to relate it back to one other thing going on very popularly right now, and please do not cut me off, pedro, because you have a tendency to do that with me about everyone hundred 20 days when i call. it inaid, if you look at a full spectrum, when you look
at that, right now a lot of people are being told that the theection of your country, protection of us american citizens want to protect ourselves, our families, is being placed upon a moral high ground. here is my question -- when president obama drew his redline when all the children and all the orphans and the women and everything were being chemically killed -- guest: can i cut in? one of the points she raises is interesting. iss issue of civil liberties in this country's fabric. we always feel very strongly
that civil liberties are a big part of what makes america great, the freedoms that we have. at the same time, there is obviously a well embraced idea that we need to do everything we can to secure ourselves and protect ourselves. obviously this was an attack in paris. there was one american killed. i think a lot of americans have sympathy to the idea that the government has to do with they need to do to protect us. so this pendulum swings. after 9/11 they passed the patriot act, more power for the government to protect the citizens. then you had the edward snowden disclosures. that was obviously very controversial. now we have a huge terrorist attack against one of our greatest allies and a lot of americans are saying, wait a second, we remember the fear we had after 9/11, where can we get this balance?
there alenge is, is balance or do we swing back-and-forth when the sorts of things happen? there was a question about whether the paris attackers use the playstation network to communicate. guest: one of the confusing things about the playstation network is that some of the communications are encrypted. i think the chat feature as far as i can tell are not encrypted. it is possible it was used that way. i cannot confirm that, but there is a lot of confusion. know if those chats are monitored in any sense? guest: i do not. the government will not tell you what they do and do not monitor. i imagine there are some government guys who would like to watch the video game network all day. host: sandra from naples, florida on the independent line. caller: my question is pretty
sophomoric, understanding the recruitment and the internet. hearingis -- what i am is very simple for an individual who is sympathetic to isis to reach out and then be found by recruiters. and then they go away to these dark corners and have these conversations. then why isn't it that we have our military, our various pretendinge services to be sympathetic recruiters? host: -- guest: that is a great question, and i do not know who is exactly doing it and it is not something -- it is not a sophomore question. i ensure that has been discussed at the highest levels of our care and terrorism --
counterterrorism committee's. they have lots of tools that they can use but you have to be able to sort of speak the lingo. you have to convince them i am sure that these exotic state guys are no dummies and are trying to sniff out a rat as well. you have to be sophisticated. host: mohammed from richmond, virginia, democrat . caller: thank you for accepting my call. i'm trying to make a comment about a lady who called earlier talking about islam as if she is an authority over islam. if you ask that lady to tell you if she has ever read one verse from the koran, she will say no. how did she get all of that scandalous information that she is spreading about islam? i am a muslim and i am proud to be a muslim.
people like isis, al qaeda and so forth, they are the other side of islam. they are spreading false information using the religion for whatever bad ideas they have for humanity. mohammed, i wonder if i could ask you what the last week has been like for you? what sort of conversations has the sparked in your family? can you tell us what it is like as a muslim to witness the sorts of events, and see the public response? week we were ashamed because these people are using my religion to justify attitudefish, inhumane
toward mankind. islam is not like that. what they are spreading is hatred. and islam is not to hate. now some christians believe that muslims do not believe in jesus christ. yes, we do believe in jesus christ. it is there in our book. rophets.ve in all the p the difference is some christians believe jesus christ is god and we do not. we believe he is a prophet of allah, of god. guest: on the one hand, you have to sort of put this into historical context. there has been tension between christianity, between islam and judaism for thousands of years. people, thislot of re-stokes fears about the past.
as this caller just mentioned, people interpret the koran very differently and i think a lot of americans see september 11, they see events that happened in paris, and maybe that is the only interaction with islam they have. , andnk the president president bush tried to do this as well, they tried to distinguish between al qaeda, the islamic state and the millions and millions of muslims that live peacefully in the united states. at the same time, there is a lot of fear and anxiety about what happened. a lot of people want answers. what we are seeing on the campaign trail is about this issue. host: there is a story about how the nsa had a program to look at e-mails and that went away. could that be replaced by something else? guest: absolutely, it is being
replaced by something else. the program allows the government to warehouse the call called, whatyou number called and the length of the call on millions of americans. we are talking potentially billions and billions of records. if they needed to sort through and if they have some sort of and decide this person is connected to that person, the new arrangement is that this information will be warehouse by the telik omissions companies -- telecommunications companies. the government has to go to the firms and the firms will turn it over if it needs certain legal protocol. have to get it for targeted, specific people. we will not know all of the details of how the program works. it will require some cooperation from the corporate business sector.
so far we know the nsa says they feel like they can get this off the ground by the end of this month. the question is, is that going to be it or are there going to be spinoffs of this program that might be kept secret that americans may not feel comfortable with? host: anthony from at sign i, new york, democratic line. caller: the last caller from richmond, i cannot agree with him more and it is so unfortunate that the ignorance being espoused against different factions. it is almost like different languages of describing the god. we spent more money investigating benghazi than we did investigating 9/11, and i have deep concerns, dark concerns about trusting my own government at this stage of the game. i feel as though we were ineffectual in vietnam trying to beat back the vietnamese, and now we are trying to do the same. it is a hornets nest.
we were warned about this and we are at the point now where we cannot afford it. the lives of young men and be sent that have to into these battlefield against an enemy that we cannot see, we do not know how to defend ourselves against an unmanned army. it is just horrific where we find ourselves at this late stage. loyalty to my country always, but loyalty to my leaders when they deserve it. i find it extremely hard to trust the people in power. first initiative was to provide immunity to the telephone companies. it was washed away and i wanted to know if "the wall street journal" would do any kind of
reporting on being able to trust or distrust our own leaders. guest: i think that is at the heart of a lot of stories that we do and our colleagues do, trying to shine the light on government one of the things about guantanamo, about the war in iraq -- this stuff is really hard. this is 21st-century warfare. it is not nationstate versus nationstate. what the u.s. is trying to is really hard, trying to find the bad guys in a country that may not be full of bad guys, and stop them from doing dangerous things. the way to do that, i think there is a lot of tension at capitol hill, and at the kitchen table. i'm sure we will hear a lot about this over the thanksgiving dinner.
it is healthy to have a public debate about it, but at the end of the day, there will not be an obvious choice. host: joe from maryland, independent line, you are on with our guest. caller: i have a question. is there any discussion onarding the use of risd's the potential immigrants coming here as a means for controlling and surveilling those individuals to address the concerns about terrorism? guest: i'm not familiar with that. it sounds like, initially, the big focus has been on background checks. obviously, it is very difficult to do a background check on someone who comes from a country that does not really exist. you cannot call their local school board, or whatever, to check their history. i'm sure they will be open to all sorts of different ideas because it will be very different -- difficult.
host: one more call, sarah, baltimore, maryland. you are on, go ahead. caller: why can't they just -- ve guest: a good question. disabling twitter would be challenging. there would be first amendment implications. an app, you wipe it out, there will be a new one that pops up in south korea, germany, that they will gravitate towards, and we may not have as much isis to or influence in. the idea has been
debated and talked about. it is something that has gotten a lot of attention. i think, it is one of the things where water will always find the crack. host: when it comes to encryption and how congress deals with the topic, who are you looking to in the next couple of months? paint the picture for us. guest: we will watch it closely. bigael mccaul has taken a interest in this. he has a very influential approach, and a good mix of lawmakers on his committee. we will also watch the intelligence committees in the house and the senate. vice chairmanand feinstein. they had a classified hearing on tuesday. one of the first things they mentioned was thinker should will watchhow they it closely. we will also watch the cia
, the fbi director. these have been issues that they happen reluctant to talk about because of snowden, and the backlash. and, obviously, the president. if he decides to convene a valley of silicon executives, that can get a dialogue moving as well. host: thank you for your time. >> the special presidential for the global coalition to counter isil, brett mccurk, is speaking at the state department. you can see it life at 2:00 eastern time. until then, more from this morning's "washington journal." isest frederick kagan of the macon enterprise institute and director of the critical threats project to talk about the current strategy against isis. good morning. guest: good morning.
host: remind folks briefly about your role in iraq and about the surge. tost: i had the opportunity do a study of the u.s. strategy in iraq in 2006. i put out a report in december advocating for a change in strategy and additional forces that subsequently helped persuade the president that there was an alternative to the strategy of retreat that was being suggested at the time. host: you wrote a recent piece taking a specific look at isis. do and do not in response to the paris attacks and a prayer rolls to the s urge and what can be applied to isis. guest: this is not a recommendation for another surge. this is about developing an appropriate strategy for the crisis that we have now. that is what we try to lay out in a brief format and we have done this in longer formats as well. it's what the core elements of a strategy against isis and for
larger objectives in the region need to be. host: you start by saying that one of things that the initiation should do is take the gloves off against isis in iraq and syria and going on to talk about engagement and the risk involved. can you expand on that? guest: i think it was very clear that the administration has adopted extremely restrictive us -- approach to the rules of engagement when u.s. aircraft are allowed to engage enemy targets. a a little -- result of that, lot of u.s. aircraft have come back without dropping bombs are so forth. iyone who knows me knows that am not a big airpower enthusiast. i do not think that you can win wars from the air, but we can do a lot more damage to this organization if we were prepared to accept some risk in terms of collateral damage. i think the administration -- all this is shifting and they are generally prepared to accept the risk. host: shifting how? can you expand on that?
guest: there are a lot of rules and the ethics of collateral damage have been established. for the first six years of this administration, we have operated on a reasonable understanding what kinds of risk and collateral damage they are willing to accept. you take every possible effort to ensure that it doesn't cause civilian deaths. attacking a legitimate target, it recognizes that may be inevitable and may happen. what we have seen here that is in syria and iraq, the a ministration has been unwilling to accept any risk. ofa result, there are a lot targets that could be attacked and should be attacked that would damage the organization, that should be attacked now because it would force the organization more on the defensive and force them to think about how to protect themselves and disrupt their operations more. that would give us a bit more time and opportunity to develop and evolve a more sophisticated strategy for dealing with them. host: here the numbers if you want to talk to our guest.
[captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2014] (202) 748-8000, (202) 748-8001, and (202) 748-8002. you would say to put u.s. forces in iraq. can you expand on that? guest: there is a strong argument that the president and the secretary of state keeps repeating and that is putting thousands of troops on the ground in invading iraq. no one is advocating that. what we are talking about is expanding the special operations forces footprint that we have in iraq and moving our troops more forward and allowing them to function as air controllers, to call in airstrikes, to advise iraqi units in particular closer to the fight, which is how you are more effective as an advisor. my estimate is that you would probably require 10,000-50,000 groups on the desk troops on the
ground total, most in support roles and emergency overwatch. we would be talking about 3000-4000 guys going forward. the president keeps reassuring people as this this is a good thing that u.s. troops will not be involved in combat. host: why not? guest: we are either involved in this fight or not involved in this fight. there is a difference in saying that our troops should not carry the burden of this war because we do not think it is effective or saying that we are not going to put our kids and confident -- and conflict because this risk. if you are advising people, you have to go into con that with orm -- combat with them there is very little credibility. host: there's an op-ed taking a look at ground troops. leadership opposes putting ground troops in syria and they know it because the more andpation in iraq
to isolate having just made a colossal mistake. why would we make it against? is his point fair? guest: i do not think so. we have a very simplest view of the 2003 original sin argument. that is fundamentally where we say we should not have invaded. what we did was wrong and therefore anything that involves anything remotely like that is wrong and anyone who advocates that is wrong. the reality is that it's a lot more complicated than that could the invasion of 2003 was not handled well. time that ag at the lot of mistakes were made. we learned a lot of lessons. none of which is particularly appropriate here. no one is talking about sending 750,000 troops to invade these countries. the question is -- what are we trying to accomplish? i think we have to start imagining that we have some sort of time machine where we can go back to 2003 and redo this all over again.
we are where we are. what do we need to do? -- we need toisis defeat isis and we need to defeat assad and we have a variety of problems present -- posing a threat to us. 2000 and three was a disaster and we shouldn't do anything like that. it does not respond to the circumstance. host: what do you do with isis and syria? lot more's a complicated and i do not think the conditions are set for putting significant american boots on the ground into syria. in syria, the problem is that the president keeps saying sometimes the right thing about what we need to do in syria, which is that we need to get a sunni arab force with local force -- what i'm afraid he means is kurds. we need to have a sunni arab , which is true. the problem is that our policy -- refused to give to the arabs the one thing they
most want -- support against assad. we are telling them that we can fight isis, but we refuse to help the side. killing them and using chemical weapons. we have to reckon is that we have that the the business of helping the sunni arab opposition against assad. wet is the community bee most need to engage. host: our guest is frederick kagan. your piece is what we need to do and not do in response to paris. our first call is from charles in windsor, ohio. go ahead. caller: good morning. i'm surprised. all these republicans are calling up hopping mad about these terrorists. z andd huckabee and cru santorum and they all went to
the sunshine meeting or whatever. this reverend jeffreys gets up advocating for executing gay people. host: what do you want to address specifically to our guest here? caller: i am saying -- is this not terrorism when our candidates are acquiescing to this, saying this should be ok? host: ok, charles. let us go to alex. alex the next -- is next in maryland. caller: good morning kiss my question is -- do you support hillary clinton's current stance on the need for a broader approach in syria? do you think we need a united coalition front and not go in there alone like we did previously in iraq? guest: i do not support one candidate or another on the republican or democratic side. we did not go alone into iraq.
we had a coalition in iraq. we never operated alone. we should have an alliance and we do have an alliance, in fact. the issue that is being discussed now needs a bit more nuanced because the argument that some people are making is that we need to form a grand coalition with the russians. we need to have a coalition that ensures the russians and iranians engage in this problem. that is very problematic because the russians and iranians are in the business of supporting the regime and not in the business of fighting isis. as we track where closely where the russian and strikes have occurred, they are predominantly not against isis targets. they are against targets in the opposition, some of which we have been supporting, in direct support of the assad regime. secretary is imagining that he will do a magical deal with the russians whereby they get assad to go. that seems unlikely to me.
even if it happens, we are over personalizing this conflict. this is not about getting one person to go. we need assad to go, but if assad and his deal is that his regime amazing power in syria, and a lot of those folks are named assad because this is a family business he is running, you will not get peace and you will not get the sunni arabs on board. you will not bring any kind of order or security to syria. the war is want to continue to rage and expand. it will continue to radicalize populations across the globe. the problem is a very seductive argument now that says we need to form an alliance with the russians. it misses the point that what the russians are trying to do is antithetical to what is need to happen to establish security in syria. host: surely is up next. you are up next with our guest, frederick kagan. to use theould like scenario of bringing the syrians into our country. i want you to think now about a family that has a home and they
have money and their family is protected. they look over and the distance and they see these people over there and some of them are poor and this and that. so the man leaves his house. he goes over to take care of them. while he is taking care of them, they slip around the house and kill his family. this is a no-brainer. i was alive during world war ii. america was kept safe because we did not have people infiltrating our country. enough that i should not even really be worried about this, but i'm telling you -- we are going to lose america if we allow these people into this country, who we know our training children and women to be terrorists. host: mr. kagan? guest: america was kept safe
during the second world war because we put 13.5 men and willing -- women into combat to andat the forces of germany japan. i do not think we should be critically proud of the instance of rounding up the japanese-americans in this country could i think it did little to nothing to help secure this nation. i do not fully understand the enthusiasm with which people are picking what i think is an embarrassing moment in american history. this is a secondary issue. we are talking about whether to refugees.000 syrian personally, i think we should accept the refugees. arerefugees are people who fleeing terror. full isis put sleepers and among them? probably. isis is working on infiltrating anyway. unless you imagine that we are either going to close the whole border entirely or imagine that we are going to have an amazing
transformation in the efficiency of our border security across the board, then keeping the syrian refugees out is not going to be an adequate protection. in any purely defensive and domestic response to this will be inadequate. what is it that we need to be concerned about? are there muslims in america? yes. do they support isis? overwhelmingly no. do some of them do? probably. we just had a discussion about how we feel about having the government listens everybody's phone calls and invade everyone's privacy and all that. personally, i think that discussion went too far in the direction that the government should not do any of that. i very concerned about how you 's civilmerica liberties in the context of defeating the stretch. the more that we focus on law enforcement capabilities to defeat this threat, the more you're heading down the road for
the state where the government has to listen to everything and follow everything. host: there's a debate about encryption technology being used. guest: if you follow this argument to its logical conclusion, will you get the nsa full powers to listen everybody and go down that road? because all that creates folder abilities. i'm not comfortable with an absolutist answered that says, yes, we will give the government all the powers it needs to do this in a defensive faction. we have to accept some risk, but otherwise, we are not americans anymore. we need to keep them focus as we talk about this. host: steve is up next and he is from shelbyville, indiana. you are on with our guest. go ahead. morning, gentlemen. i really enjoy listening to you. .ou sound real intelligent the women are--
paying out the tribes to keep them at bay. i'm curious about that. guest: we did not pay off the tribes, but what we did was is in, theynt our forces an work closely with the tribes. we persuaded them with thinking we were going to help them win and that is what they wanted. the tribes were willing to fight against al qaeda in iraq, but they do not want to lose to al qaeda in iraq. they were willing to reconcile with the iraqi government, but they do not want to be victims of the iraqi government. we told him that we would make sure we win against al qaeda in iraq. in the course of that, we did pay them salaries to help protect their areas and so forth, which was important. we do not rent tribes. that does not work very well actually. you have to establish a common interest aces with people.
if you just go to an area and start handing out money, you're just engaging in a bidding process to see who hands out more money and that is not a good solution. money is important. more important was the commitment that we gave to them come which unfortunately we subsequently violated, that we were going to help protect them, help them fight against al qaeda in iraq, and help mediate on their behalf with the government. host: from chattahoochee, florida, tommy. go ahead. you are on. --ler: i would like to know what is he a branch of expertise and why should we listen to you? [laughter] i'm a military strategist. you can look at my resume online. months on thel 18 ground in afghanistan, advising various military commanders and so forth. that -- let me put it to you this way. take a look at what i am arguing.
i ama look at why am arguing it and being as transparent as i can possibly be, laying out what i think did do not ask you to take my word for anything could you take a look at the arguments i've described in the fact that i put out and you come to the pollution of whether you think it is working or not. host: ron from pontiac, illinois. frederick kagan is on our show. go ahead. caller: good morning, mr. kagan. at the risk of over some publication, i look at what is going on in syria as primarily a sunni-shiite issue, and i would be more concerned about iran having control of numerous capitals in the middle east than isis if i was to way it out. jordanent, the king of and a former cia assistant director are concerned about a
world war iii scenario. at the risk of a world war iii scenario, is it possible for turkey to enter the fray and overthrow assad and then we deal with isis? guest: you put your finger on a really important issue, which is this is a sectarian war. ,t's a sectarian war in syria iraq, and throughout the gulf, in fact. it is global. that is one of the principal wevers of the violence that see in the global radicalization that we have seen. the iranians are a major driver of that. the iranians are backing the most sectarian forces in syria and iraq and elsewhere and they are feeling the sector. the problem is -- and i appreciate the fact that the color is highlighting the broader implication of this sectarian conflict.
when you have sunni populations or's shiite populations feeling they face a threat from sectarian actors on the other side, and mobilizes them behind the fighting forces that they think will protect their communities. been a deliver strategy that al qaeda and iraq has relied on since 2004. , but a sunni group deliberately attacked the shiite population and retaliate commit atrocities immobilize them behind al qaeda in iraq. that is the strategy that they are pursuing also in europe now. to goad european governments into committing atrocities against the population in europe to help radicalize it. unfortunately, it works. this is a successful approach. i think the color highlights is super important fact that we need to recognize that the sunni-shiite sectarian
war is a major threat to us and a challenge for our security in the iranians are playing a very maligned role in that war. it goes to the issue of the grand coalition. can we line up with the iranians and the russians when they are lined up with assad and the sectarian forces on the shiite side? , but that iscare the side they are lined up on. all that will do is add fuel to the fire and read a lot of guys -- radicalize the comfort further. needost important thing we to do is reach out to the sunni arab population and say that they have an alternative to isis or al qaeda affiliates. host: if the u.s. should respond, they should not worry about the iranian response to our actions. can you expand on that? guest: i recognize that if we were to put more forces in iraq, forcesuite likely that would attack us. they said as much of it possibly would.
what i recommend as a mitigation strategy is to literally be prepared for that and have forces in place and to make it clear to the iranians and all parties in iraq that we will defend ourselves against them if they start shooting at the embassy and so forth. we have to recognize that that is a real possibility as we get into trying to do what i think we need to do in iraq. it is very easy to say why should we run that risk? the answer is that we are on a path toward complete failure. we have to decide whether we are actually comfortable saying we are going to subordinate our policy in the region toward iranians and put ourselves entirely under their control, so that if they do not like we are doing, they will threaten the embassy and we will start. that is subordination to a sectarian actor that is a problem. we do not want a war with iran and we do not want a war with iran and iraq. yet different hair -- we have to
prepare ourselves for the conflict and the turk and essentially prevail. host: hello. caller: good morning. i'm glad to hear you talk strategy about the iraq war and is war that president obama going. i think people need to understand that iranians are far seas. they are lined up with the russians because they are fighting a tribal war. drawisis wants to do is the world in a war that they believe in in biblical history. they believe that if the superpowers join on them, all the muslims in the world will come to their aid. president obama is absolutely right. you covert activity to fight terrorists with terrorists. let the covert activity people take care of it. let the special ops take care of crisis. do not bring goods on the ground
so isis people can say, look at the world superpowers joining on us. muslims, rise up. help us fight. they believe that jesus and god will rise up in that area in syria and help defend them against the world. is that youroblem asked the question of how many bits we need to have on the ground for isis to be able to make the argument that americans are attacking them? the answer is too. they have been making this argument consistently. this is already a premise of their propaganda that we are attacking them. this very little difference between having the current force level that we have and these are boots on the ground. i have been there and seen these guys. this whole boots on the ground thing has been bizarre. isis calls it the footless war in response to our continuing to say that we do not have boots on the ground. .hat gives them propaganda we have got something like 3000
pairs of boots on the ground already could if we have 10,000 pairs of boots on the ground instead of 3000 pairs, does that affect isis narrative? no, not in a meaningful way in terms of them saying we are fighting americans. it would affect the narrative and another way. i want to highlight something. when of the interesting characteristics of sunni islam, even more than people generally, is that there is a believe in that community widespread that if you're doing well in the world, then a lot is smiling upon you. if you are doing badly in the world, all is not supporting it. that is why you see rapid bandwagon and rapid falling away for sunni movements. the problem we have right now is the isis narrative is that they are winning and it's a pretty accurate narrative. when you have a group in that community who is able to say we are winning, it is much easier for them to make the case that they actually do have divine support. the single most important thing
that we can do from the standpoint of affecting the isis narrative is to make it clear that they are losing. make them start losing. make them start failing. we don't have to get up and say that allah is drawing blessing from you. all we have to do is defeat them and that argument will reinforce itself within that community. people who are wavering will start to say, looks like they are not on the right path after all. host: this is not the first time you have been asked this question. if you are on twitter says, how do you fight against ideology? guest: it's a great question. with think back to the cold war. andought the cold war against communism. how did we do that? communism manifested itself and the existence of the soviet union and became identified with the soviet union to such a degree that when we actually defeat of the soviet union, communism was very probably discredited as an ideal. you will hardly find any state these days that identifies
itself as communist despite lunatic north koreans and the chinese have even modify their position. case, the ideology of the isis is pursuing has become very closely identified with isis and al qaeda. can we defeat the ideology per se? no. can we defeat these groups? yes. if we defeat these groups, it will damage the credibility of the ideology, both for the reasons i spoken earlier with the way the sunni community tends to view these things, but also because people do not abstract ideologies from the organizations that claim to represent them. i think -- can we kill this ideology? no. this is an ideology that has reemerged from the very earliest days of islam. the good news is that every time it has emerged in islam, it has been rejected. i am confident it will be ultimately rejected as well. the question is -- how rapidly
and what cost -- at what cost? host: our guest is frederick kagan joining us. robert, good morning. you're on with our guest on independent line. caller: good morning. i do not know if i'm looking at things like everybody else. is a deal that has been dealt with kind of wrong back at 911 with the wrong people. people should be taking care of their own problems. if all the superpowers in the world get together and i and ise the middle east and take away the weapons that we gave them to kill us with, tell them, look, if you want to deal with the world, you're going to have to be civilized people. again that the people who are making the money off of these wars -- they're going to keep it going forever.
it's like the refugees coming in over can now. we cannot afford to bring those people over here. want themif people here, we are going to get them because the people making money off of it get the taxpayers money to do all this with. they will be getting their way. guest: to begin with, it is a muslim problem. it would be valuable, i think, wikipedia,to get on or something, and look at a map of where the muslim community actually is. it is not confined to the middle east. it runs from indonesia, the
united states, to europe, into africa. a fundamental problem in the muslim community is a problem everywhere, not just a problem in the middle east. it is not something where we can contain this. even if that were feasible, and actually, what the caller was greatting would require a amount of military force. if we are taking weapons away from people in this area, many hundreds of thousands of troops, which i would not advocate. we have to recognize that this has already spread. this is not something that can be contained. we need to stop using the notion of containment as a framework for dealing with this problem. this morning 80 hostagesf mali released.been guest: it is connected in the sense that the groups -- i'm in
the sure the groups have been involved in this -- obviously the french who went into mali. sure there's a enthusiasm to pile on the isis attack. very well.doing anduse the french went in touristscattered the but didn't establish anything to the terror structures. this is a mistake we keep repeating over and over again. repeated this in libya as well where there's a significant in libyachise now wrong a million other things. because we conducted that a drive byike shooting. to recognize that it's a very seductive argument that and deal with the problem let the locals handle it. the problem is the locals can't a lot of these
cases. unless you're prepared to provide assistance to forces able to establish some kind of governance, some some kindructure and of security force, then all of theseains as a result of kinds of raids will be temporary. that's what we're seeing in mali. host: from killeen, texas, line.ican caller: into mention that the veterans that we -- these are a volunteer force that served in many wars including vietnam all up.way they volunteered to go and go to ourign soil and defend country and children and family. so the enemy would not come here. we don't put boots on the ground there. what do we want to do when the enemy is here? going to choose not to put
boots on ground here in the united states when it gets rough here? people need to be staying there and defending their own country. states need to develop the train of thought like they had in world war ii. need to get that train of thought that we are the way. nation that leads the we accomplish things gi going over there and fighting and defeating the enemy. we need to do. to change the strategy, change the people in the white house. congresspeople out of and the senate are afraid to stand up for the rights of our nation and quit using political corrective actions because votes. trying to gain think it's been very distressing to see how debate about how to react to paris has turned into argument about u.s. immigration policy. it is a classic example of
have the argument that we won't off instead of --ing the arc that we argument that we need to be having. accepting 30,000 refugees will not be determined threat. it's red meat to both sides of the political aisle. common problem. i think it goes to the point that the caller was making, we focused on our own we just dynamics that wrap everything into the conversations we're already having instead of really asking questionsthe hard about what's the problem here. what actually is the threat. approaches might be successful and what approaches aren't successful. we really need to start fighting that harder and stop just wrapping everything into the going to beat are vote getters and so forth. i'm here to tell you, i know for sure that any strategy put out against isis is not going to be getter.
it is not. because if it's effective, it's going to be complicated. risky, going to involve doing things we don't want to do. to involve making .ncomfortable arguments host: can we prepare them for theible attacks here in u.s.? guest: we have to look at our law enforcement forces. to ask ourselves how comfortably we are with various jurisdictions we've been put obligation. on the law enforcement. we as a nation have to find an betweenate balance protecting ourselves domestically and destroying our civil liberties. very tough balance and it's something we'll have to work on. it's not going to be the solution. that, i think we need to focus on thinking through the actual solutions.
from -- jimmy from line.lvania, democrat's caller: i'm ashamed to say i'm a democrat. you get all of these refugees in. who's going to feed them? you harry reid, the president democrats and some of the republicans don't like the refugee bill. up some ofng to give your pay to pay for these people get fed. are we going to take them fromth taxpayers here -- from the unitedrs here in states who are structuralling now to -- struggling now to make a living. the president said, i have a strategy. his own people that he talks to saying his strategy isn't working. all he's doing is to run his and drop it in the next person's lap. i don't think it's right. ever ran thiswe country the way he should have. he's a politician. that's all he wants to do. talk about politics and all that
stuff. host: thanks. distressingnk it is that the president seem to unwilling to recognize that the not working. hard.s i can't say that often enough. i'm not in the business of lampooning or ridiculing people. incredibly difficult. we went into iraq, we fought the iraq war. clearly made mistakes. you like in george bush. in january 2007, he got up and the strategy is failing and i'm adopting a new strategy. in that.o shame that's what you look to a leader to recognize a strategy that isn't working and you upognize that and you come with a new one. it should be evident that the
pursuing int we're iraq and syria is not succeeding. i have a hard time understanding the president actually thinks it is succeeding, i love to know definition of success is and why he thinks it looks good. but his determination to to defend this strategy and not to be little to i woulder it -- what suggest or something else. when you have something that's not working, recognize it that it's not working. say it's not working and come up new.something i think that's in many respects most worrisome part about the discussion. host: you authorization from congress to these things. does the authorization from the satisfy that? guest: i think the 9/11 authorization and the iraq war theide the president with authorizations that we requires to do what he's doing. one of those people i would stay between the constitutional powers of the
executives and the war powers act, the president has the authority to do what it is he do.s to he makes war powers to congress. congress can decide what it will do. i don't think this is an issue of authorization. i think this is an of strategy. thinks what he's doing is worrying. i think it isn't. i'm wrong. host: from tom from kentucky 0 the independent line. go line. caller: the generals and retired that are beginning to vent their frustrations with the obama policy. i have a question and i beg you time to state why i ask the question. is it possible that the congress could remove obama and charge and have himson tried before the supreme court and let these general officers come in and state the case against him? the reason i ask that question
is, obama has a strategy to fail and europele east .nd the united states he is trying to bring the country down and install father didhe way his in kenya. we need to get this man out of there a way to accomplish it? you. tost: i would never advocate impeach a president because i disapprove of his policy. call, texas a republican line roger, go ahead. caller: hello. the only reason -- i don't it that a man is can advocate the death of another and claim it's in the name of god?
all it is the beast that no man against. that's all this boils down to. thatope already declared this is world war iii. the beaste time of when the beast rises up, he will military power toond any man's ability resist. caller.ank you guest: i think that isis is a great evil in the world. i think it's appropriate to talk when you talking about groups like this. i don't think that it's beyond the capability of any man to resist. i think it's something that can be defeated. i think it's something that will be defeated. i think that it is something that must be defeated in order america to be secure and in order for the world to be secure. focusing on how to go
we leave this recorded segment now to take you live to the state department where the counter isis,to brett mccurk, will be briefing reporters this afternoon. >> brett mccurk will give you an update on operations against isil in iraq and syria. he will stick around to take questions, not many, and then i will get appear, and we will go through the regular daily briefing. i know there are a lot of questions about what happened in mali today. i will be prepared on the back end of the briefing, to deal with that, and take those questions, and whatever else is on your mind. with that, i will turn it over to mr. mccurk. ccurk: thanks for allowing
me to take a few minutes here to update you on what we are doing against isil. inas with a lot of you the anna and paris -- i spent an extra day in paris. a real team coming out of those trips is not only our solidarity with the french, but our commitment across the entire accelerate our efforts against this barbaric terrorist organization. what we are doing now, the steps we are taking, have really been building for the last year. if you go back to one year ago, the thought of putting real pressure on the heartland of isil and its connections between mosul is
something we wanted to do, but were not able to do -- taking back territory, finding out how their financing themselves, and root out. that was not possible one year ago, six months ago, but is possible now. i think we have an opportunity now to really galvanize the entire coalition and intensify our pressure across the board. i would put it to ways. make no mistake here and we destroy the terrorist organization. in two ways -- we will suffocate the court in iraq and syria, and we will suffocate the global networks. the global networks is something everyone is focused on now, and rightfully so. i said this before. we have really never seen something like this before. 30,000 ford fighters, these jihadi fighters coming from countries all over the world into syria and iraq. there are different numbers, but it is almost double the number
in afghanistan in the 1980's. it is 100 countries all around the world. myself and general alan traveled to about 30 capitals, including north africa, europe, the gulf asia., you heard a common theme of what is driving these young men and women to join. it is this phony nation of the caliphate. the core driving philosophy, if it is thisreinv read expanding state that they are trying to create. of flags.ofthis war shrinking the area is happening. i want to go through what we are doing now. it is a combination of diplomatic,--
economic, political, military. also, what we are doing with the global networks. and suffocating the core, i think you have a general map to situate where you are. when we look at every day, those of us working on it every day with the national security team, the white house, the pentagon, and the treasury department -- it is all part of a coherent whole. there has been a lot of talk -- of course, we're all just in turkey -- about this 90 kilometer area, the last part of the border that isil controls with turkey. .ou hear about their mari line they have tried now for a number of months to move further west. we have worked very hard with closerks, extremely cooperation with turkey and groups on the ground to make
sure this will be the extent of western advance, and we will start to push them back. we have significantly increased our presence most recently with f-15s. that came out of an agreement we negotiated with the turks going back 3-4 months ago. with turkey,ation politically, diplomatically, talking with the turks closely about how we will coordinate to do this, there are activities on the ground going on now with fighters agains on the mari line against isil. east, what to the i would say is number two -- which onetes river, year or so ago, was entirely under controlled of isil, is
entirely inhospitable to isil. that started in the town of , we were down to just a and a few hundred fighters. we made a decision to help them. they have expanded from there, a very significant defeat to isil, in which we took away their entry point .o to lobby syria, myeast of colleagues have talked about this. they have been trying to diplomatically get the forces on the ground to work together to make this all work. it has been very difficult. over the last about 30 days, they have launched a series of
operations against isil, and it has been quite successful pushing south. that has been synchronized, to keep going clockwise, with what injarppening in c seen to help set up the conditions to do this. operation launched about two weeks ago. retookdish purg purse that town. daeshfeline force of mosul is aqa and highway, they have only been able to traverse it, only pressure from the air. we have now cut the main highway. ongoing efforts will continue to constrict -- part of the suffocation -- we want to
isolate them in raqqa, isolate them in mosul, and that will continue. if you go further, there is mosul. we have worked with the government of iraq to set up a joint headquarters. make no mistake. it will take time. governor. new we have been working with him to recruit local fighters to restrict, put pressure, and suffocate. that is something that will continue. if you go south towards baghdad and the tigris river, it is important to remember in the summer of 2014, when isil was pressing on baghdad. now, the dynamic is completely opposite. historians will look at the fight over the oil refinery --
of course, we helped them there for 14 months. iraqi forces have secured the refinery. we think that is now the extent of isil's southern advance. of there is very important. an extremely difficult situation at first, in terms of the retaking. there were a lot of shiite involved in the beginning. .t did not go particularly well it. ultimately retook what is most important is, this , andurse is an iconic city working in a global coalition with the united nations and government of iraq, set up a stabilization fund to get refugees back into the city of
75% of theabout population have returned. that is significant because in other populations, refugees are not returning to their homes. it is far from perfect, the embassy is working every day with the u.n. and government of iraq, and we are learning every day about what we can do better. i will loop around because another one of the areas is ramadi. ramadi fell about 90 days ago, significant setback. we know what isil wanted to do. they wanted to sweep east down we madehrates river -- an immediate decision, working with the iraqi government. we sent some of our special forces units to help the iraqis regroup, reorganize, recruit local fighters, and begin to push back. they halted the isil advance entirely, and now they are .oving on ramadi
my dod colleagues can talk about that in more detail. give the west isil try to do, and where they are now, that is going the right way, although it is extremely, extremely difficult. iraqi forces have artie suffered about 1200 cash of the -- casualties, 200 dead. they are fighting and dying to retake the country, something we will very much help them do. two more things on this map. we have worked with the coalition at the al-assad airbase. i have been there myself. we areally is, danes, there, not only working with iraqi security forces, but tribal fighters. they have gone to actually expanding their presence and defeating isil, and doing
defensive operations. that is quite significant because we have worked closely with the iraqi government and pulled a number of measures together on the humanitarian and military side. the final point, just to finish raqqa.cle is in that is where we believe their leaders are. we will do all we can to work politically, diplomatically, to entrap isil and there. just last week, going after jihadi john -- we found him on the streets of raqqa and were able to conduct a precise operation. double continue. we continue tos put pressure on isil, they make
mistakes and do stupid things, and we will do our we can to intensify the pressure over the coming weeks. let me talk about said the court and the networks. these are the foreign fighter flows, foreign fighter networks. we have done a lot over the last year. when we started the coalition, there was not much focus on this at all, quite frankly. we passed a chapter seven resolutions of that time. theountries are reinforcing legal frameworks. significant, the countries that have arrested for fighters, or broken up networks. we really need to accelerate -- it is one thing to break up a pot in one capital and another capital, it is another thing to work across our law-enforcement activities, and within the coalition to collapse and shock the network theory that is what
we need to do, to work as a committee -- we have and collapsee dots them. there is a role for every country to play in this regard. there is a role for turkey to play. there is also a role for what we call the source within the eu, they have had a debate for some time about passenger name -- passenger airplanes and a debate between privacy and security. we feel very strongly that we have to get those implements -- instruments in place. we know how to do this, we are very focused on the homeland. we keep these records very carefully. it is something we need our coalition partners to assist with and we believe very
strongly in their capital to do the same. the eu is talking about this today in brussels. theeel strongly that now is time to move forward on some of these very important protections. on top of this effort against isil is the ongoing conflict in syria. in the a primary focus core element of that communique is not only a timeline in which everyone has agreed upon but getting all those critical countries in the room, the numbers of the security council, ians andi's and iran everyone else. a key element is the concept of the cease-fire. a strong recognition that we all need to focus on these terrorist groups. and the ongoing conflict between the regime and the opposition. that conflict will not wind down
unless we have a process for a political transition. there is some divergence of views. as we are focused on isis and suffocating the networks, we are focused intensively on the track because many of these things are linked. that is a broad overview of what we are trained to do. make no mistake -- i just came from the white house. we just saw francois hollande the other day in paris. we stand with them, we will help them. they are moving the charles de gaulle into the eastern mediterranean. we are helping with more intelligence sharing with the agreement we just signed with them. we will work with them and the entire coalition to suffocate these networks and destroyed this terrorist organization. it will take time. there are no shortcuts here. alse guys grew out of the
qaeda enemy we knew very well. they are better manned and better funded and better resourced. we are working with indigenous forces on the ground to fight on the ground. we feel that is the longer-term solution. we are putting u.s. special forces on the ground into syria. we are putting u.s. special forces on the ground to force them out of iraq. those are the types of things we will be looking to intensify in the coming weeks. you make a good case about we whole isis territory -- have seen that they are able to carry out attacks in europe. they planted a bomb on a russian plane. several groups in africa have
pledged allegiance to them. they have sympathizers in libya and nigeria. how does this fit into the broader global campaign against isis and jihadi style groups? >> it is not just focused on iraq and syria. we have to focus on iraq and syria because that is one of the main draws. suffocating the core is critical. parallel and just as intense and just as determined and just as decisive, we want to focus on the global networks. the global affiliates, it is more complicated. a lot of these groups have already been existing for some time. just because they put the nicest flag does not make it more of a threat than it is already been. we have a whole process for this. mentionsoking at the globals and
affiliate -- is there messaging coordination? when we see that and we see a leader, we will not hesitate to take action. you just saw that last week where we targeted the head of isis in libya. this will continue. this is a global network. it is spread by modern technology and social networking. it is a challenge, something we have not seen before. that is why we have to do this, this is why we built a global coalition of 65 members. need to coordinate better, share information more and do it faster. we will be bringing in all the --estors of the coalition the ambassadors of the coalition and address them in some detail about a plan going forward. will be specific about additional resources we need from them. about began by talking the 98 kilometer stretch of the syrian turkish border.
to has it been so difficult close that given that you have a functioning state to the north with an enormous a standing army ? what is so difficult about undertaking and prosecuting that effort? >> good question. it is a significant stretch of territory. within that area, we call it the mortgage cap -- isis has fortified itself in that. area, the town is their ideological capital. believeere they armageddon is going to begin. it's an area in which they collect foreign fighters and direct them across the battlefield. areas in which they continue to funnel foreign fighters in. this is a heartland for them and they are focused -- they are
fortified there. to find the forces on the ground to do the fighting is something that we are in the middle of conversation with the turks on. , our effortstly that the turks will take on their side of the border. they are all in on this effort. they have been from the moment we opened the airbase agreement. is thing you can look at that the turks are flying f-16s and doing bombing runs against isis in this area. regularly and consistently now. it is a difficult geography, difficult rain. i differed to my military colleagues in terms of how it will go. it has already started. just look at what we are doing every single day in terms of airstrikes in this area. working with the turks to
coordinate to make sure we can get this right. that is a conversation from president obama and president -- our vice chairman was on his way to turkey. which of our conversations are focused on taking care of this last stretch of territory. >> thank you. some people including the international crisis group that's adjusted you condition that military aid on political reform. -- have suggested. it could escalate into more violence. do you set any conditions for the military aid you provide? >> i spent a lot of time with the kurds over the last year.
i was with all the political parties. we are deeply engaged with all the kurdish parties. our message to them is clear. when the kurds are united, nothing can defeat them. inco bonnie. kobani. we worked with turkey. i was there late one evening getting resupply's and the turks rridor.a cor the kurds united against this threat and they don't a decisive blow to isis. we get concerned when we see the kurdish parties divided because this war is not over. the kurds are suffering everyday.
we encourage them to unite their ranks against this threat. there will be political disagreements. right now, we encourage them to unite against this threat. we are working closely with the peshmerga and the u.k. and katie dp. the unite states has been supporting the syrian kurds a lot. ani could have fallen without the united states support. the syrian kurds say we need more actual ammunition come actual weapons and the unite states has said that recent airdrop was intended for the arab opposition. what is the hesitation here? why is the unite states not openly and actively providing them with weapons? >> i'm not going to discuss all
the details here. we will work with groups fighting isil to make sure they have what they need to succeed. are they just providing advice on the ground? or have they been engaged in any fighting? part, our most military advisers are providing advisory support, training and assistance. that is across the board. .e have two sites across the kurdish iraqi region. we are joined by a number of , spain, thertners danes, the australians and the french. training, advice and support. come inrt i mentioned
was about getting the iraqis reorganized and getting them on their feet. to get the forces available to begin to take the initiative against isil. thereare times we believe is need for more direct missions. an operation into northern syria about five months ago now, we collected more information on that site and we have been any special forces operation in history. it has led to a number of operations to completely uproot isis's economic financial networks. you will see more of that. it when we helped the iraqi kurdish peshmerga do their rescue operation against the 70 hostages -- we lost a brave american in that operation.
we have people in harm's way. urbil and i met these hostages who were rescued. all of them were about to be executed the next morning. it was an incredible moment. it spoke to how important this is and why we need to do everything we can to prevail. >> just one more. >> thank you. -- youto ask you about are mobilizing indigenous forces. romani.ate >> we set a target. paid for byfighters the iraqi government. from had full cooperation their government for that effort. the numbers fluctuate a bit.
we have found that when the tribes mobilize and are able to correlate with us, they are extremely successful. isil did not just commit to the province when mosley fell. they moved into falluja. two years now. all through 2013, they were decimating the tribal structures and networks trying to hollow out the societal structures that had existed. -- when mosul fell. that's why we have these two sites to help mobilize the local indigenous forces to take back their committees. the prime minister has a philosophy of governance consistent with iraq's of decentralization and a powering the governors and local leaders to provide for their own affairs. you have seen that integrate -- in tikrit.
we've been working closely with to governor of the province help ensure that when the kurds take it back, the resources are there, the police are there to come back to the streets. the italians have led an effort to train the police. the governor and local leaders have the resources they need to bring people back to the streets. i think we have had very good cooperation between local leaders and the central government facilitated by our folks. it is very difficult. isis will put up an extremely hard fight. tikrit is no longer under isis's control. for romani for years.
i mentioned the casualties. this is a difficult fight, but we are -- you can get this from , what we aren doing 20 will those forces on the ground. we have the pieces in place to do it. tot's what we are doing mobilize those forces on the ground. >> ok, everybody. i know everybody is following the story out of mali. information is still coming in. ian authorities report that the security incident has concluded. lifting itsthere is
recommendation for u.s. citizens to shelter in place. the embassy continues to urge -- u.s. citizens to minimize and be vigilant of their surroundings. they wanted to continue monitoring local media for updates and adhere to instructions of local authorities. we would also like to take this opportunity to thank the first responders and security forces who responded to those attacks so promptly and quickly and helped rescue so many. that would include members of the u.s. military who happened to be at the site and chipped in to assist first responders and moving people to the secure locations. i can confirm that all the chief mission personnel are accounted for and are in a safe location. i don't have any information to corroborate reports concerning
the number of u.s. citizens in that hotel. about a dozen americans come including chief of mission personnel in that doesn't work rescued -- were rescued. the embassy is providing all of great assistance. i don't have any was injuries or deaths to report at this time. we are working to verify the safety and security of u.s. citizens there. we are still working through that process right now. is returning to normal duties. we are urging everybody to be vigilant. there is one rumor i would like that ato rest, the rumor u.s. diplomatic vehicle was somehow used to -- or it involved in the attack. there was a diplomatic vehicle at the hotel at the time of the attack. it was therefore a completely different purpose the driver and
passengers were able to escape without harm. there was no involvement by a diplomatic vehicle. there have been reports that the airport is closed. that is not true. one carrier has halted its flights in and out of the area. the airport is open. there has been no curtailment of air operations there. -- vast bulk of carriers >> do you have other stuff to get to? >> let me make sure i don't have anything else. >> i just want to ask -- there was a u.s. diplomatic plated vehicle at the hotel.
that was the car that people were talking about? or are you not ruling out that another car with a non-us diplomatic plate -- >> they were rumors that a u.s. diplomatic plated vehicle was used in the attack or involved in the attack by the attackers. that is false. there was a u.s. diplomatic vehicle on the site driven by government employees that were therefore official business -- there for official business and they were able to escape and the driver and passenger were able to escape without harm. we have no evidence that the u.s. double medic vehicle was -- >> i missed the report. what about an oedipal medic plate? -- any diplomatic plate? >> i don't. there? was going on
meeting? know, there are sometimes diplomatic personnel on temporary duty. -- hotels service lodging. it was lodging. they need transportation to and from. van used toassenger help transport people to and from. they were their sibling because of lodging. -- they were there simply because of lodging. >> the military helped move people to save locations. could you detail other ways in which u.s. diplomatic or military personnel were involved? >> there were -- there was no active involvement by u.s. military. or u.s. government personnel with respect to dealing with the
attack itself. n forces.lia it is just wrapping up. i don't have a list of everybody involved, but it's my understanding that there were some u.s. military personnel there for other reasons. one or perhaps others of them that assisted in helping move trying tot were escape the hotel and get them to a secure location. but not involved in the actual cooperation to go against the terrorists. i'm sure more information will come out in the future about how this transpired. this is all just concluding. >> when you say the chief of mission is accounted for, was he or she at the hotel? >> no. the ambassador was not. in thethat worked
mission but were staying in the hotel. do we have any information on whether this attack is linked to isil? >> al qaeda affiliated group has claimed responsibility. i'm not in a position to confirm that claim. it is too soon to tell right now. by the true it was led man who is responsible for the attack on that oil facility -- >> i simply don't have any details about the frame of responsibility. it was an al qaeda affiliated group. it isn't african jihadist group affiliated with al qaeda. i'm not in a position at this stage to confirm the veracity of that claim. -- thel just happened
government will be investigating this and we need to let that workout. >> you can confirm or deny that it was mustafa -- he was here a year ago. he keeps reemerging. >> i don't have any additional information. i just can't -- americans were rescued from the hotel. >> some of those were mission personnel. >> but not involved with the mission. separately, the chief of mission and safety has been established. >> yes. all chief of mission personnel are counted for and in a safe location. [indiscernible] they were attacking innocent people.
is that because they want to get into the headlines? where have they come from? >> i'm not a spokesman for the state department or al qaeda. i would not begin to try to -- >> thank you for explaining that to us. >> the premise of your question is that i should be able to speak for their intentions. i won't do that. there is no excuse, no rationale for this kind of violence, no matter who is responsible. this al qaeda related group or some group that is doing this completely different -- separate and distinct from al qaeda, i would not try to speak for their motives. it is reprehensible. we will work with the authorities to the degree that they want our help and assistance to bring these people to justice.
it should be no secret to anybody that al qaeda offshoot continue to exist. africa andstasize in the labonte and the middle east. -- that'seard from why we are working so hard to combat groups like this. what the rationale was come i cannot begin to tell you other than to sow terror and fear, which is what these groups are all about. wherey people are asking they are getting the financing, arms and who is supporting them, financing the and training them? who is buying their oil or arming them? >> i cannot possibly begin to answer that question. there are multiple sources of financing and resources for groups like this. it is regrettable, but they do and haveams of revenue
the ability to attract people to their cause. that is something we are working hard to combat. i cannot begin to give you the balance sheet on how this group that claims responsibility for it or any other terrorist group does that. thatis important to us is we continue to work inside the international committee to combat all those areas of sustenance for terrorist groups. it is hard work but we will stay at it. >> in terms of the larger relationship between the u.s. li, there is no military aid for them because of the cooper years ago. how much assistance can the u.s. government legally provide to mali? oupbecause of the cre three years ago. haverelations with mali
been strong for decades based on shared goals of reducing poverty and increasing democracy. promoting stable democracy, promoting regional security by combating terrorists and traffickers, reducing chronic vulnerability by improving social development and increasing sustainable livelihood. it's a relationship we will keep working at. mali remains a willing u.s. partner. 2014, the emphasis on institutional building, justice and respect for human rights, the state department's antiterrorism assistance program held a seminar for senior malian officials. i think you could see some of that pay off in the way they responded today.
they are one of six countries participating in the president's security governance initiative. that initiative focuses on the management, oversight and accountability of the security sector at the institutional level. security governance and it should the u.s. africa leaders summit. the 10,000 or so you and peacekeepers -- u.n. peacekeepers in the country, you that position is doing enough to help stabilize and secure mali or two other steps need to be taken to prevent future attacks? >> we still believe it is an important mission. we will continue to support it. in the wake of an attack like this -- i will not speak for the u.n. in terms of what they will or won't do.
a country has contributed blue helmets. >> once you have investigators go through it, you want to learn lessons learned that might affect the way you change your counterterrorism posture, operations, resourcing. that could be the case here. to let we need authorities continue to work through the same and let the investigation concluded and we will go from there. i won't speak for the u.n.. it is common practice to examine what happened and make adjustments as you need to do going forward. will -- when you're talking about the role of u.s. military forces who happen to be there
was that some number, at least one helped hostages -- one that but none were actually involved in fighting against the hostage takers to your knowledge. >> to my knowledge, that is correct. it would refer you to the defense department. >> they happen to be at the hotel? there andppened to be some of them were either at the hotel or very close by in order for one of them to assist. it -- they must have been in the vicinity. i do not know, the pentagon said there was two dozen. they were and what they were doing i would not be able to speak to. that your knowledge those
to go to help hostages safety, was that something that they were ordered to do and some organized fashion or was that something they chose to do on the ground because they were there at that they could help? >> i think it is the latter. i have seen nothing at all and traffic today, high-resolution -- conversations that this was u.s. service personnel at least one of them who do what they do so well which is run to the sound of guns and tried to help and that is my impression is a what happened. suggestion toy your knowledge that the presence of u.s. personnel was a factor in it being chosen as a target or was it randomly? >> i do not know. any travel by the
secretary to announce? >> i do not. --you expect to be having expending thanks giving week in the united states? >> the secretary is looking forward to spending thanks giving with his family. i do not have any travel announcements. >> it has been reported elsewhere that the secretary is leaving and one of the places it is reported he is going to be is israel and i wanted to ask you about something that came up at yesterday's briefing which had just happened a little while ago. murders the killing, the of this college student. do you have any more american citizens, do you have anything to say than you did yesterday? >> i do not have anything conditional to say. the secretary was deeply saddened to hear of the death
obviously concerned by it. and we're going to continue to monitor the situation or the circumstances best we can and our hearts and prayers go out to the family. >> i know that you do not like name-calling but you do think that he was killed and what was the -- in what was a terrorist attack, right? i am in at think that position to characterize the circumstances right now but again we are mindful of what happened. the secretary said his deepest thoughts to the family. >> you do not think it could happen in some kind of robbery gone bad, you believe it was not them, thee of
criminal act because it is not being looked at that way. >> thank you. the death of about ourrd schwartz, we extend deepest cone dolan's is to the victims family and the community and the family and friends of the for the people killed in yesterday's tragic events. the secretary is concerned about five other american citizens who were victims and witches -- wishes each of them a full recovery. these underscored the importance of taking affirmative steps to restore calm. five were wounded yesterday or is this over the -- --
>> that is the same. >> that seems an awful lot of americans to be killed or injured, no? >> it is disconcerting. we don't want to see that. draw a line of causation here. >> the student from massachusetts was killed on the west bank and have you been in touch with the palestinians about this? >> i am not aware of any palestinians. we have had communications with -- at various levels. details or what happened? >> to get there views and
perspectives. >> the person who was murdered do you know what he was doing or where he was killed? >> i do not have that level of information. do you have any comment? >> i have not seen those reports. nothing changes about having calm restored in violence and. >> reports have been all over the place that these confrontations with the israeli --y condemnntinue to
violence. ,> 450 new units were announced do you have any comment on that? actionsosition on such is clear. we have used this kind of activity as illegitimate and productive to the cause of peace. we remain concerned about policy settlements including retroactive legalization's. we remain opposed to steps that seek to prejudge the outcome of negotiations. a genuine commitment to a two state solution. contentious action such as the announcement demonstrate the opposite. they will have detrimental
effects on the ground and increased -- increase heightened tension. we call on all to return to a path of peace. >> staying in israel, jonathan pollard has expressed an interest in traveling to israel although the terms of his parole would not allow him to leave the country. could you say if there are discussions with israeli officials about whether [indiscernible] expressedte house has their view. the justice department will handle his release on parole. he will be subject to the general travel restrictions that apply to all parolees.
latest answer, the announcement will further it may veryel and well but i am wondering is that your message today because you aboutsked the question our settlements. there is no question, you have not said anything about the palestinians being isolated. there were a large spate of diedks, a citizen yesterday. >> we have been exceedingly clear about the degree to which this violence is doing nothing to get the two state solution. here with difference
settlement activity which we continue to consider illegitimate. we said before is not doing ayway -- anything to get to two state solution and it could continue to isolate israel internationally. well we do not want to seek settlements it is not the same violence.anton we have been strident about the danger of increasing violence, continued violence to not just peace and stability there but the ability to achieve a workable, sustainable two state solution. >> is there any thought about what you can do to reduce the tensions band and reduce the violence beyond what the secretary did when he was in to -- last time trying the steps that he got, is
israelis and the jordanians to agree to as regards the temple mount. worked not seem to have any magic. they do not seem to have and i am the tensions wondering is there any thought get them to do more to down? >> they were never intended to work magic. your words. they were not intended to work magic, the tension has not gone secretary urges all to take steps. think it will work at this very hard.
we do not see a decrease from the last trip to the region and the agreements he got us israel and jordan. i don't think the secretary would tell you. it is going to take place on all sides. withll press his concerns leaders. does the administration believe that settlement construction and building in east jerusalem contributes to the violence we have seen, that might be a factor in motivating the palestinians. >> you have heard the secretary talk about this. you have to look at a range of activities that are not intruding to getting us back to a two state solution.
the secretary has been clear he is not drawing a line of causation between settlements and the violence. he has been very clear about that. >> have the plans to put cameras on the temple mount been dropped? >> the authorities in technicians are supposed to be working this out create i do not know the status. as far as we know there has been no intent, no effort, no decision to not move forward with that. >> is lame of trying to reduce tension to stop the violence but create an atmosphere where we can restart a conversation about some kind of a peace process or is mr. kerry's plate full with trying to solve the syria conflict? very full on a lot of fronts. it is sos not believe
full he cannot continue to work at this issue specifically. obviously it is difficult to have a meaningful conversation about a two state solution when there is still such violence going on. our immediate focus is trying to get the violence stopped and get calm restored so that adequate -- political space can be created for discussions, meaningful discussions going forward on a two state solution can occur but it is difficult to get there, to have a discussion when people are still being killed. isil? i switch to counter thanks. president hollande said he wants to meet obama and then couldn't have a ground
coalition. going to iran and meeting with the supreme leader and seems interested in trying to become part of this grand coalition. that they might mash or are you preempting and being- in a way putin involved next week? >> i think this discussion about coalitions and who is in and out has been way oversimplified. i can to you that in his meeting with president hollande, the secretary came away convinced in francis, -- by commitment, they are a significant could trigger to lines of effort. it was clear to the secretary
humming out of paris that those contributions would continue and likely increase. president hollande has said that himself. there is a 65 member coalition fighting isil. that is the cola should. as you have said other nations want to join it and be part of it and focus on the white against iso, that is a conversation that we're willing to have with them. in order for that work but remember has to have the same focus on defeating isil and this russia,see talk about we have not seen that commitment. it is inconsistent with the goals which is to defeat iso. inconsistent with their coalition itself. if russia is serious about this,
about going after i sold and changing the calculus of the military activities it is conducting inside syria, that is [indiscernible] we're not at that stage right now. >> what is the core goal, is to move him from power or [indiscernible] scale of one to 10, are they the same, is one larger than the other, what is the goal? >> to defeat iso. -- isil. >> the question comes up all the time. to -- on par to defeat isis. >> what is on par? >> you wanted assad removed from power. >> coalition was not created -- that there is
nothing in the coalition mandate to remove assad from power. trackis the diplomatic that the secretary is pursuing that will get us to away from a side and a government that can be responsive to the syrian people without a side. a diplomatic focus. can these efforts support one another and be mutually complementary, absolutely. if you have ideally if you have a responsible government in syria that can issue governance but -- on the whole country and keep syria whole and unified and pluralistic. then you have the strength, the vitality, the foundation of good government to not only kicked a group like isil out to keep them out. one of the reasons they have isn able to fester and grow
because there has been no governance and vast parts of syria that they can take it manage of. last week in a couple of speeches, there has been of a symbiosis created by the lack of legitimacy by president assad. there is -- these two efforts can be more should be, and will be mutually supportive but militarily, the coalition to counter isil is about carrying iso. that is its focus. of training and assistance that are being given to indigenous forces, all that is the sign to go after isil. is the turkish troops, is one ?f the options to clear up isil
>> i will let the turkish government speak for what the military will or won't do. he heard about the importance of working the order issues in that and our willingness to work with turkey to that end. next you have any goal or timetable to that part of the piece by the border? >> i do not have additional information. we have a shared sense of urgency about the flow of smuggled oil, foreign fighters, and resources and everyone has a shared sense of concern and urgency about dealing with it. >> you just mentioned, the whole oil business.
this oil business has been going on. moves to take out many of the targets. why did it take so long to get thehis point, to take off oil business of iso? >> we have long focused on the oil revenue that isil has been able to use and have access to. job i ago in my previous talked a lot about what we were doing to get at oil collection points and some of their -- the advanced refinery. going after their oil revenues is not a new idea and i would not to the timing of specific targets, that is for my dod colleagues to talk about when and how. whatrucks are hit and with
effectiveness, i would not go there. it was one of the original lines of effort when the coalition was formed. getting oil-- trucks and refineries, there are ways they are getting resources from other ways. one of the reason why ground matters to them aside from their fantasies of being a caliphate is that you can extort resources, financial resources from capturing infrastructure. not important just because of oil, it is infrastructure create it is a way to capture human resources as well. so there is a lot to this. that is why territory matters to
them, that is why ground matters to them and one of the ways they get money is extortion and flat out robbery. is -- going after financing is not a new idea and it is a we will continue to pursue. >> i talked about this yesterday. >> have you discussed the ongoing problem. >> i read this out yesterday. yesterday and they talk about counterterrorism. >> bangladesh. i do not have anything about that.
we have seen the reports cannothis case but i confirm specific details. to restrict the exercise of the freedom of expression, the universal right enshrined in the universal declaration of rights that there is a responsibility to protect. do you have any details about the u.n. general assembly [indiscernible]
>> on the 19th of november the u.s. joined 111 other members in protesting. torture, public executions, arbitrary detention, political prison camps and the extensive use of forced labor. we encourage the security council to discuss the human rights situation in the dpr k and consider the relevant recommendations of the commission of inquiry including on accountability. thanks, everybody, have a great weekend. >> coming up and half an hour, we take you live to new york city where the united nations security council is meeting today on a counterterrorism resolution. rich here at 4 p.m. eastern.
until then, a discussion on the paris terrorist attacks and government did a collection from today's washington journal. continues. is damian guest paletta covers national security issues. good morning. attacks have sparked a of of debate about this idea encryption technology. can you tell haas that is. a textherever i send message to you, let's say we iphones and we send it through imessage, that youage can only be read by from your iphone and read by me who sends it. apple can't read it and government can't read it. aple design messages in stuck way where it's encrypted. somethingexample of that's gotten popular in the past few years. lot of companies are offering serviceses of e-mail or text messaging services that
allow you to encrypt your people who that aren't intended to read it can't read it. was seen a very popular evolution and technology. than a decade in progress but also since the edward snowden in 2013 and there aboutvernment anxiety government snooping and hackers getting access to personal been a big, there's push to make our information more private. enforcement in law feel like there's danger in this as well. they want this information to be feel secure but at the same time, they don't want people terrorist, pedophiles and that sort of person to have the ability to trained secret they can't gett access to. since the paris attacks, there's been a intense debate about needs tohe government get access to information.
extend on should capitol hill then? guest: the problem on capitol hill, they don't know what has to do. something has to do done. there needs to be a conversation about this. dialogueds to be a with silicon valley. code.ust encryption and enforceake -- if you the law and pass the law and say this information cannot be completely encrypted, then potentially russia can get sea accessnd china with get se to it. host: our guest will talk about issues of data and surveillance and privacy when it to the internet. on political spectrum hillary clinton was in new york as part of a discussion on what to do about isis. she had to say. >> we should take the concerns
enforcement and counterterrorism professionals seriously. warned that encryption accessingt them from terrorist communications and preventing a future attack. we know thereand, are legitimate concerns about government intrusion, network creating new vulnerabilities that bad actors can and would exploit. we need silicon valley, not to view government as its adversary challenge our best minds in the private sector to work with the best minds in the public sector. develop solutions that will both keep us safe and protect our privacy. host: damian paletta from silicone valley. responding? guest: if this was two weeks ago, you would say give us a break. will ignore you.
this a lotlley sees differently after the terrorist attacks. be in a't want to situation where they discovered their encryption technology was used. any's a nightmare for company to be participating in a terrorist attack. the point she made is very interesting. she said, law enforcement have some very valid points but on other hand, privacy advocates have good points too. answer.n't have an i think the white house doesn't have an answer. lot of people feel like there butto be discussion here they don't know exactly what to do. dialogue that's beginning on the hill. the house and security committee will be conversations with companies. on the other one they can't try to pressure these companies the resist that. if you pressure u.s. companies their encryption
policy. they have to be came. other hand, timing is you have the essence here. in a situation where five or ten years to figure out. message toat my text you is encrypted. only you and i can see it. there's this idea out there that can come innt through a backdoor in extreme circumstances that can go to the technology company and say, we need to read damian paletta's certainsage on this date. lot of folks in the technology that's kind of unworkable. or it'st's encrypted not. if the government has a key to decrypt certain informations who's to say they will not go get what they want.
i think that's one the big risks there. host: damian paletta is our and talking about the issues of surveillance and technology. ralph is from the independent line. please. caller: thank for the call. weas just wondering why don't have better satellite systems? desert where everything in the open. if you can't see them flying with tanks and jeeps running down the load. why we aren'ttand using more of that technology. guest: it's an interesting point. after the islamic state took ramadi in iraq and they took the town and there was these videos miles of truck convoys flag. the islamic state people were wondering why can't they wipe out that whole stretch militant?
that's a great question. the government is very careful about telling us what they do don't have realtime access to. obviously, there's a government national geospatial agency that has best access to satellite on the planet. thesee really hard on things. that sort of information tracking is one thing they're looking at. what we're talking about is something different. the messages that go back and forth. host: charlotte up next, line, hi. caller: good morning. so many people call in on so many guests these days c-span that don't seem to be up all.at's happening at i'm just amazed. when i hear people who don't to realize that the president strategies are working.
have been working. that we have driven isis out of the areas numerous areas where taken over and had control. to realizeans need that we have to make a choice. up next.ia guest: quick point. this is a different kind of terrorist network. qaeda, they had -- they sought refugee in afghanistan they plan these external terror attacks. islamic states had territory that they control. territory.f lost audio] they trying to theain the group within iraq and syria and also southeast. challenge. a host: there was a cia director that talked his concerns over encryption. a little bit what he had
to say. significant been a increase in the operational security of a number of these operatives and terrorist networks as they have gone to school on what it is that they need to do in order to keep their activities concealed from the authorities. as i mentioned, there are at the technological capabilities that are available right now exceptionally difficult both technically as well as legally for intelligence therity services to have insight thee need to uncover. think this is a time for particularly europe, as well as here in the united states for us a look and see whether somet there had been intentional gaps that have been create and intelligence and security services to protect the people that they are asked to serve. the past several years, the
cost of a number of unauthorized and a lot of hand wringing over the government's to try toe effort uncover these terrorists. policy andeen some legal and other actions that are ability,t make our collectively to find these terrorists much more challenging. i do hope that this is going to be a wake up call in areas of europe where i think there has been a misrepresentation of what the intelligence of security services are doing. that areorridors designed to undercut those capabilities. host: damian paletta read lines. the guest: this is extremely interesting. this is monday after the friday night attacks. obviously he has access to a allow more information than i do about what happened. the things that was confusing about his comments is this. exactly how the
terrorist planned this. we don't know what kind of they used. echnology we don't know whether they were making phone calls to syria. he was sending this message so quickly suggest dark areaswere some that they didn't have access to. public policy or this kind of hand wringing backlash prohibited him from access to. it's hard for us to know exactly what new powers he's trying to get until we know exactly how the terrorists off.d this that's something that will take a long time. set the stagehe directors don't make public comments. he's trying to send a signal to and the hillpeople and white house potentially that with this cool it pendulum swing.
host: one of the phrases he used school. gone to your paper recently talked about how they teachte savvy. guest: one of the things that made them stand out is their tech savvy. polished well hollywood style propaganda videos. know which social media apps are the hardest for the government to penetrate and which ones are the weakest. they put together like a for their members pointing them towards certain apps they should use. government has been very careful to -- obviously we know they can penetrate. hack into symptom apps. app -- some apps. want to fear the terror networks towards certain things
story"washington journal" there's a source. it list the types of apps and safe, moderately safe and unsafe. it talks a little bit about that technology. there's a chart provided there on the website. wood hear from lydia from stock, illinois. caller: thank you for this opportunity. i'm correct, i like to have someeither confirmed or in way looked into. i believe the bush family, the bush-walker side of the family, the walker side of the family is involved in theulating some of surveillance platforms. believe they're involved in the construction of the utah facility. the previous guest is also part very powerful family that
constructs policy. the american enterprise institute but also a for newthe project american century which was the all of this int fore by making a necessity us to have a big military east.ce in the middle guest: it's interesting. i'm not sure about a lot of the history with the bush family. she did mention this utah facility. story about this fill ago.al months it was a mysterious facility built out in the desert. host: built by whom? guest: it's on a government military base. serve thee was to nsa. it's kind of out. it uses a tremendous amount of to cool the computers.
.here's not much access to it the government has agreed, the congress and the white house law that would end this database program the 29th of november. one of the question what will utah. to this facility in what kind of data they need to store if all the telephone records will be housed within the government. sandra,t's hear from republicans, indiana line. caller: i don't think we can withouterrorism -- he hadbout hundreds of sex slaves. a murderer and a thief. he started islam. founder of islam. is their prophet i think a
false prophet. we much teach about the radical side of islam because they are acting out what muhammad proposed years ago. is alive through the koran, 14 years ago. andteachings of hate today.e are with us guest: i will say, we've seen the past few days, a lot more discussion on the campaign howl about muslims and american might feel towards them and what fears americans might have. i wonder how this debate is going to play out as the progresses and lot of feel safer.art to i think there is going to be thispublic discourse about specific religion.
host: how is technology used by of isis?ation guest: it's a great question. twitterseveral thousand accounts that are used by and -- state him talents militants and supporters. and blast out their message twitter suspend them and they keep sending messages out. if they find someone who is sympathetic who might be a potential convert or be attracted to their message, they a direct message via twitter. i'm fairly certain based on that theatements government made, the fbi have access to those direct messages twitters. what happens then is problematic for the government. militant willate send direct message to the sympathizer. let's say someone in the united states, who say go to this encrypted. it's we'll take our conversation
there. then they will take their conversation off of twitter off direct message from twitter into this dark space. fromnows what they'll plan there. it will be something kind of very dangerous, something potentially devastating or it be kind of just more propaganda. we don't know. i'm sure the government is out.g to figure that that's how this all fits together. from theon is up next democrat line. the love think at people are hesitant or not reluctant to give up their freedoms for security when it comes to being online. prevent if the government is given access to decrypt messages. fromo we prevent them abusing it? also instead of looking at technologies a we have. innovating things
to be able to identify whether activity.terrorist from that side of the world there is no innovation. how do we -- is it possible that start innovating things? guest: yes that's a great question. i think that's the center of this debate. why siliconeasons valley is receptive to having questions, they feel if they're not at the table, they will be on the table. participate. sort ofd put some boundaries and safeguards to government any access can't be taken advantage of. that the nsa directed down, thisrt of shot idea that the government will key to get half a into these messages.
it can only work if the company the other half of the key. so the government can't start what it wants. it can only get in when it has company.ssion of the host: dallas, texas, brian independent line. go ahead. guys to talking about the internet and going to sites.k there's been several journalist that have been able to talk with sites.rorists over these is that -- brannan is the one who lied about them spying on us. insteadd be prosecuted of being cia director. terrorists have known that they signified on since -- spied on since the clinton administration. american people didn't know that they were being spied on. going to find some way
of communicating. also, most the terrorist in france were on a watch list but them. is watching guest: it's incredible -- one of the things that struck people french after the charlie hebdo shooting in january of this year, after they that domestic terror attacks that killed 16 or 17 people, givepassed a new law to their surveillance community a potentiallyer to track these things down. attacks inrorist paris. it happened under everyone's nose. they're wondering what happened. truth is, it is very hard to stop all of these attacks. if they stop 99 out of 100, that's still not considered a success. gruesomecould be very and horrifying event.
the intelligence has their hands full. especially with all of these fighters who gone to syria and iraq to fight and melted back into the communities. it's hard to know who they need to monitor. the united states maybe only a of those folks. potentiallyhere's thousands they have to keep their eyes on. hebdo with the charlie shooting. aboutdiscussion surveillance on the internet in attacks.paris damian paletta of the "washington journal" our guest. on the phone.xt from georgia, republican line. sir p thank you pedro and thank you c-span for call. my i just wanted to -- the basic the battle against isis, i
think one of the things that i'm with is battlem maybe on one front. i think there's another front. the thing that we're and the internet is our civildo want liberties protected. battle against relate itgoing to back to one other thing. don't cut me off pedro. do do have a tendency to that with me about everything 120 days when i call. that being said, if you look at
in a full spectrum, when you at that, right now a lot of being told that the country, the your protection of us american citizens, want to protect ourselves, our families and everything is being placed on the moral high ground. question, when president obama drew his red all the children and and those women being --thing were points sheof the raises is interesting. the issue of civil liberty and security i think is a -- in this country it's fabric.
very strongly that civil liberties are a big part of of what makes america great. the freedoms that we have. but at the same time, obviously very well embraced idea that we can to do everything we secure ourselves and protect ourselves. obviously this is an attack in was one american who was killed. american --he love this pendulum swings right after act. they passed patriot lots of more government power to americans.ect although the bill remains controversial. then you have the edward snowden disclosures where a lot of said, we want civil liberties back. that was a very controversial as well. now we have huge terrorist attacks is one of great allies. we americans are saying, remember being up set about the
stuff. where can we get this balance. that's this challenge, is there a balance. host: someone on twitter asked paris.he reports in guest: there had been reports of .hat some of the communications via it encrypted. like your credit card numbers and stuff. features as far as i can tell are not encrypted. it's possible but i can't that.m host: do you know if those chats are monitored? guest: i don't know in. government won't tell you what they do and don't monitor. pretty creative but i don't know. i imagine there's some government guys love to watch the video game networks. host: sandra from napels
independent line. caller: my question is pretty sophomoric in the sense of understanding the recruitment internet. here it is. simplem hearing is very for an individual who is sympathetic to isis to reach out be found by recruiters and then they go away to the corners to have these conversations. guest: that's a great question. i'm sure that is taking place. fbi, whether it's cia, i don't know who is doing it. not a sophomoric question. it's a great question. i'm sure that's been discussed
highest level of our counterterrorism. question is, you have to be pretty good in disguise. it's like finding a child predator online. speak theo be able to lingo. you have to be able to convince them. sure these islamic state guys are no dummies. they trying to sniff out a rat as well. be sophisticated in how you do it. approach.reat host: mohammad from richmond, virginia democrats line next. myler: thank you for taking call. i'm trying to make a comment lydia talking about islam. to tellsk that lydia you if she has ever read one koran, she will say no. she get all that information that she's spreading
a muslim andi'm i'm proud to be a muslim. like isis and al qaeda -- side of islam. they're spreading false religionon using the justifyguise to whatever they have towards humanity. that lady saying the same thing -- guest: muhammad i wonder what i ask you what the last week has been like for you? what conversations has it sparked if your family. tell us about what it's like as a muslim to witness the publics and see response? week,: the events of last made me be ashamed. are usingese people
to justify their selfish, inhumane attitude to towards mankind. that.is not like they are spreading their hatred. some christians believe that muslims do not believe in jesus christ. believe in jesus christ. it's in our book. all the prophets. the big difference between christianity and islam is, some believe that jesus christ is god. we don't. isbelieve that jesus christ of god.t of allah host: thank you for your input. guest: absolutely. on the one hand you have to sort of put this in historical context. there has been tension between between islam and
judaism for thousands of years. of people this about kind of the past. as this caller mentioned, people verypret the koran differently. americans see september 11th, they see the events that happened in paris and maybe that's kind of the only interaction with islam they have. the president and president bush tried to do this as well. tried to distinguish between al qaeda, islamic state muslims thatons of peaceful in the united states. but at the same time, there's a and anxiety about what happened. talkednew york timeses" about the nasa had a program.
you said the program to swoop up going away. could that be replaced by somebody else? guest: absolutely. nsa program that ends november 29th allows the the callt to warehouse records, who you called, what the length ofand the call on millions of americans. we're talking potentially records.of if they need to go through and they getugh and if some sort of permission, this to this person. arrangement this information will be warehoused the telecommunication company. if the government need this, they have to go to to these firms. there can't be expedition.fishing we're not going to know all the details of how the program works. obviously requires some
cooperation from the corporate business sector. so far, we know the nsa they feel like they can get this by the endhe ground of this month. i think the question is, is that going to be it or as we've seen past, are there going to be sort of spin-offs of this program that might be concept secrets. host: anthony from mount sinai new york, democrats line. you so much. the last caller from richmond, virginia, i couldn't agree with him for it's so unfortunate that the american people are some of being exposed the factions. there's only one god. it's almost different languages describing that god. money investigat investigating benghazi than 9/11. i have deep concerns. nowel as though we were
we're trying to do the same. hornets nest. we've been warned about this and we're at the point now where we can't afford it. the lives of the young men and have to be sent into these battlefield against see.emy that we we don't know how to defend unmanned army.st it's horrific where we find at this late stage. loyalty to my country always, but loyalty to my leader when deserve it. i find it hard to trust the people that are in power in this country. barack obama first signing statement was to grant immunity telephone industries to having spied on americans prior 9/11. the at&t executive that pointed that out, mr. klein who was on prior to a class action lawsuit it was washed away. wanted to know if "washington
journal" will do any reporting on being able to distrust or our leaders? guest: i think that is the heart doa lot of stories that we that in different newspapers. trying to shine a light on practices, inconsistencies. this, the things about about guantanamo, about the war in iraq, this stuff is really hard. there's not a -- this is 21st century warfare. it's not nation state versus nation state. what the u.s. trying to do is really hard to find the bad guys and-in a country full of people not be bad guys and doing dangerous things. the way to do that, i think lot of tension on capitol hill and people's kitchen table. hear it around
thanksgiving dinner around the country. issues.e really hard healthy to have a nice public debate about it. but at the end of the day, not going to be an choice. host: joe from maryland, on the independent line. you're on with our guest damian paletta. caller: thank you. i have a question, is there any ofcussion regarding the use i.d.s on potential immigrants as it means to controlling surveying those individuals to address the concerns about terrorism? with: i'm not familiar that. it sounds like initially big backgroundeen on checks, screening and that sort of thing. obviously it's very difficult to do a background check from someone who comes from a country doesn't exist. localn't call their school board to check their
history. allsure they will be open ideas. baltimore, from maryland. caller: hello. ahead.ou're on, go caller: why can't they just disable --the use led apps the terrorists use? guest: very fair question. good question. i think the idea is that -- obviously disabling twitter will be very challenging. lot of first a amendment implications of that. one of the other concerns, if you disable -- let's say there's a install niche app out of valley that's popular with terror groups. let's say you wipe that thing appsthere will be some new that will pop up in south korea or germany that they will towards. we might not have as much access and have that much influence in
american government. that idea has been debated and it's been talked about. it's not too far out in left field. it's something that gotten a lot of attention. it's one of those things where water will find the crack. that's something that they wrestle it. host: when if comes encryption feels, who ares you looking to in the next couple of months? to watch're going closely. mike mccall the chairman of security committee, he's taken a big interest in this. lawmakers good mix of on this committee. also going to watch the intelligence committees in the house and the senate. chairman buhr and vice chairman feinstein in the senate. they have a classified hearing on tuesday. i was outside. one of the first things they mentioned was that the and ha how itue needs to be studied.
watching the cia fbi director and director. they feel a little bit more justified in bringing this to the public's attention. president, if the president decides to engage in decides to convene a meeting of silicone valley, that the dialogue >> the united nations security council that to meet any time now, actually. or :00 p.m. eastern time, i've minutes ago, they were scheduled to meet on a counterterrorism resolution. we will have live coverage for you on c-span. ox and news reporting on the security council, saying russia draftted a revised
security council resolution aimed at coordinating international efforts to write terrorism, but it still allows president bashar al-assad's government to maintain a decisive role in addressing the crisis in syria. france is in the process of crafting its own resolution in response to the attacks. though they welcome the idea of coordinated efforts, western council diplomats tell walks language isad unacceptable. a picture of the russian representative to the united there, on your screen that story from fox news. again, the united nations security council scheduled to meet this hour in new york city on that counterterrorism resolution. we'll have live coverage here on c-span. while we wait for it to get under way, more on today's "washington journal." >> washington journal's continues. by gordon witkin.
good morning. what is the center and tell us about it. gordon: it is a nonpartisan, nonprofit investigative newsroom. we have been around for about 25 years. we focus on non-form -- longform investigative journalism which has to do with how the federal government and in this case the state government, works or does not work. particularly, the influence of money and special interest power on the governing process. latest report takes a look at the idea of integrity within the government. were you trying to examine? gordon: the state integrity investigation is our second effort. the first was in 2012, to look at openness and transparency, -- as nextand ethics within the -- the feeling on returning this, a
lot of the action seems to be in the state these days. at the same time, coverage of statehouses has been decimated at well documented with journalism. wanted to get granular and look at how things were working in the states. we hired a freelance reporter with expertise in that state, in each of the 50 states. we interviewed 100 -- determine what are the metrics, very down and dirty. what are the metrics he would look out to examine these things. we came up with a group of 235 specific questions to try to help us measure openness transparency and state government. we opened up with -- overall grade and an overall score. host: nobody did well on this grading system in 2015? gordon: the results were
sobering. the highest grade was a c. [no audio] gordon: then that makes sense to do it in 2015. importantly, we also added a group of questions into any 15 -- 2015 that had today with information to citizens by a state government with an open data formats to allow people to openly use and size the data. the results on that category were poured. look and examine as the
issues and what happens with at -- give examples and stories about what you have found. gordon: there were systemically poor scores and a couple of categories. access to information and public records, we found to be shot through with loopholes. exemptions for all kinds of different branches of government , in light of loopholes and a lot of difficulty the citizens had in getting access to public records. ethics found that the enforcement process in many states was weak. the ethics enforcement agencies funded.ost all partly many of them were unable to initiate any investigation on their own. states scored well in a couple of categories. we found increasing openness in state budget processes, with
some exceptions. robustd a very -- fairly and if statech how money was being spent in the matter with which it was designed. host: investigating corruption in the state government -- if you want to ask questions about what they found and your state specifically. is our life for democrats, 202-748-8001 is the line for republicans, and 202-748-8002 is the life for independence. you can find the report on our website. the first call is michael from miami, florida on the independent line. good morning. caller: good morning. -- according to your grading scale from corruption?
[no audio] gordon: has gone after assets, particularly drug investigations. and questions about whether assets or secure initiatives have been used as a way to fund law enforcement, rather than as a way of enforcing them all. it was not a focus in this particular work. host: a source came out from "usa today", a missouri lawmaker introduced -- a veto by the governor and prohibit cities from buying plastic bags at the grocery store. this is actually sort of the tip of the iceberg on a larger issue. which is that state legislatures
are citizen legislators. they meet just a few months a once every twoes years. i think most of us at some level feel sort of warm and fuzzy about citizen legislator. the potential, you have a citizen legislator for the conflict of interest in voting in situations like you just said, are extreme. the legislators are largely responsible for -- accusing themselves on issues with which they have a conflict of interest. we found that that rarely happens. host: democrat line. a ofr: sadly, there is corruption in south dakota. rated at,t we are only three states are lower. i think it is wyoming, michigan, and nevada. we do not have enough
information. --nothing gets investigated nobody investigated, i do not know how much money we owe. suicide at a school in south dakota. we do not seem to be getting the right answers. the whole family committed suicide. this state.eef with there are too many people who do not know what is going on, or they do not want us to know what is going on. thank you. bfive record refers to a program were immigrants are allowed expedited access to the u.s. or go ahead of the line if they are investigating -- investing in u.s. jobs and
locating companies within the u.s.. that program has been subject to a fair amount of abuse and a fair amount of controversy. this is indicative of a larger issue, which is that we found that some of the lowest performing states, not all, some of the lowest performing states, like the dakotas, wyoming and etc. planes or western states were under -- a philosophy, a libertarian philosophy of extremely limited government. i would have to tell you, nonestly, i do not think what a investigative -- jc attitude in the western and plains states. i covered the rockies for a wild, there is just a strong belief in limited government. choice, there are fewer of the exacting systems that you -- looknd elsewhere
into ethics allegations or those sorts of things. 2012, a, weng, in had on this that i thought was illustrative. a reporter asked the state senator -- the state senator asked a reporter, this is our philosophy of government. this is what we believe, and he said, do you know why you don't have to use turn signals in the state of wyoming? because -- that is a libertarian attitude we plains.roughout the a call from the democrats line. questions one some why the investigations are not
prioritized as much. indiana, there are over a hundred -- republican state representatives. our unit was publicized and brought to justice. i do not think any of them -- been -- resigned. backlash -- if you cannot publicize or out these people. or you cannot let us know who is doing these things without investigating. i have been investigating and keeping and i on indiana for a while, and trying to turn bike -- back to. are beingople are blinded by the media around us,
the media will not report it. you cannot find it on a news channel anywhere or your local channels. that is what most people -- we are a poor state. gordon: unless there are firm findings -- by a state ethics enforcement body. throughess that they go , and in some cases, the existence of the allegations by law and policy, more or less cap -- kept under wraps. a fairlys a state with limited view of government. the state house has been controlled by a more conservative, republican group
for quite some time. i say that as someone who's career began at the indianapolis star and spent a fair amount of time at the statehouse. host: alan from washington dc on the independent line. caller: i appreciate the work that the center for integrity does. , has the cpis this looked at for example, the various departments of the federal government in the same context? i think that is so important. i looked at the department of education very closely for years . the level of corruption and ness --this --opaque conflict of interest is just astounding. i would take my question off the air, thank you. gordon: the center is not done the same type of study on the federal government agency by
agency. vastld say that the majority of our work, as a washington-based watchdog, is focused on the federal government. how the federal government spends its money, and the way that money and special interest power affects the process. guestgordon witkin is our taking a look at corruption on the state level and what it has done. line.on the republican sir.r: yes i've been complaining about my sincen, my disabilities 2000, until now. nothing is happening. -- i worked for --ear in vietnam
[indiscernible] what have you done as far as -- the state, is -- my fingers are [indiscernible] host: thank you. familiar withot what the caller's individual situation is. virginia has scored poorly on the surveys. it has scored particularly poorly, it got an f on our 2012 survey. we took a lot of grief for that. there was backlash centered on what a lot of critics said was
the virginia way. we have the virginia way here, everything is above the board. this is a small neighborhood. we have never had a major scandal here. your findings are off base. since then, virginia had a massive scandal involving the governor and his family. . a lot of that scandal was centered around disclosure, not but by the governor, questions from disclosure by immediate family members as to what the relationships where and gifts they were receiving from a local businessman. he was trying to push a product and wanted the governor and the governor's family help. passedhen, virginia has ethics enforcement laws. they are very improved in the survey, but they were -- there are a lot of folks who believe that these laws have loopholes. larger point. there are a number of places
that we have a reaction centered around where we have not had a major scandal here. i do not understand how you could for -- score us poorly. , your state to that in very few of these systems checks and balances that might fare it out. it is not unusual that you have not had a lot of big corruption cases. host: take a look at new jersey and bridge gate. how did that factor into your findings? sey, in regard to this particular project has a fascinating history. we found in 2012 that new jersey scored the highest, which was a shock to everyone who is familiar the various problems in jersey's reputation. we found in states that had
problems, particularly new jersey and illinois, that previous scandals in the case of new jersey, scandals going back to the -- administration had a shame and embarrassment affect. the cost -- it caused new jersey to pass tough laws in the with ethics, disclosure, and gives --gifts. -- some cases, the governor before. droppedvey, the score in part because of the problem surfaced by bridge gate and a lot of controversy -- not a tight profile about the blemish the state ethics commission from new jersey. host: hollywood, 40, good morning -- hollywood, florida. caller: what category does our state fault in?
read my paper on sundays, there are a lot of articles that talk about some of the problems in the state. could you please comment on that gecko -- ?>> this hearing will --don: gordon: problems with ethics enforcement and problems with disclosure by legislature relationship with lobbyists and things of that nature. it was not the worst, it was not the best. a lot of states, florida among them, scored a d on our survey. host: little elm, texas from the republican line. caller: in texas, they just lower the taxes on homes. they also increased in benton county where i live, the
exemption from 15,000, to 25,000. i would like to know if you have -- you said something about the government. have you ever investigated the the groundof agreements that the federal government concludes from the president, down to mayors of local states and cities. have been exempted from their retirement plans. for example, if they get a retirement built up over a 10 , and it says maybe they have 400,000 or maybe a -- if they areon in government and business and working for the government. that exemption applies to all of their funds that were built up. either pensions, or retirement
or stocks if they have that too. i know that the government, the senate and house, if you look at their net worth conceive where their investments are. that means that whatever they make on those investments is added to their funds is exempted. host: sorry to interrupt. gordon: i'm not familiar with this specific provision. the issue of various kinds of exemption has come up from our survey. particularly, in regards to things like legislative disclosure. many states now require legislators at some level to disclose their outside income, jobs. they also asked that their
biggest closures of their immediate family members and those are filed in a central repository in the state. the ethics enforcement agencies in many states do not have the toget for the staffing verify the accuracy of some of those disclosures. states, there is a barrier to get over in terms of transparency. many of these disclosures are not online. some states, you actually have house to to the state look at the legislative disclosures. many of them are just in stacks of paper or in files. there are a lot of problems in terms of transparency and completeness and enforcement of legislative, financial, and karen disclosures. host: from twitter, did you find more corruption in republican politicians or state? gordon: i don't think we can
make a judgment there. there was plenty of reasons to go around. i emphasize that what we were trying to look at where the systems that were in place. rather than simply counting corruption cases. i think in something like 12 states in the last three years, legislative leaders have been convicted or ousted based on some sort of malfeasance. the poster child is new york, where we had some 14 legislators either convicted or charged with malfeasance just in the last wo.r or to have twork -- we trials going on in new york. senator, these
are paid to play corruption trials. what manyaying bare people in new york believe is a really deep-seated culture of corruption. -- williamn witkin wilson of north carolina from the democratic line. want to know have you seen any relationships between the states with their private prison industry and the private school industry? gordon: that is a good question. this study did not look specifically at those questions. month --ubject for a multiplicity of subjects that we are interested in looking at for the future. many states have gone in the direction of privatizing some of their present. as part of that process, there
has been controversies and questions. florida is one state that has had a problem, as to what sort of lobbying and influence to get .hose contracts it is being exercised by the companies that run the private prisons. jeremy,ssachusetts, thank you for calling. go ahead. caller: i just wanted to ask a few questions about the massachusetts family court system and child service protective system. how divorced fathers are financially ruined, and the kids usually end up in the child service protective system. how they are forced by the state to be put -- drugs or directly close to the pharmaceutical industry. that is my current situation in massachusetts. thank you. withn: i am not familiar
the particular issues that the caller referenced. but i can say there have been many issues in terms of the ethics disclosure and then spent transparency in massachusetts. the massachusetts legislator has had a lot of problems because of the house and they had been convicted of very -- different types of crimes. we found a massachusetts was particularly challenged in the access of -- open records laws. there are many exemptions as to what citizens can get. a couple of branches of government have made extensive inorts to exempt themselves part, or a whole from open records laws. until fairly recently, it was difficult in some cases to find out how massachusetts legislators had voted in the committee. host: michigan, republican line,
don is up next. caller: i'd like to ask the , theeman, as we all know special interest groups not only in washington, but every state government in the united states, is a huge problem. toy are a huge problem as what has been done with policies that we are try to put through with votes. we all know they have a huge percent and all of this -- in all of this. i wonder why nothing has been done about this. anybody that has ever brought it up recently, that i know of, they said they would do something about it, nothing becomes of it. that i believe is a huge problem in all of the government in the
united states. this should be something done. there -- there should be something done. i think the special interest groups need to be cake out of washington. they need to be kicked out of the state governments and i believe we would see a lot more things being done. last inmichigan came in our survey with a f. we found, there has been very little of the kind of disclosure , transparency, and ethics initiative that we solve in many -- that we saw in many other states. the power of lobbyists and special interest is strong in every state capital. that thehe issue, is power of those who want to retain the status quo is greater in the power of those who want to bring about some change in
how the system works. i would also mention something we saw again and again, many receivethe legislators for what is done correctly, a very difficult and that breaking work. as a result of the modest fees they are paid, that can provide fertile ground for lobbyists to have more power. there are state legislators who feel that their salary is so low , they routinely want their dinner to be bought by a lobbyist. it is possible that increasing the salary for this work, accompanied with other reforms, might have some effect on that system. salaries inslator
the current atmosphere will be tough. host: taking a look at transparency and openness, how easy or hard was it for you to get the information from the states involved? gordon: it varied. there were two kinds of questions. all of our topics asked about the law and what laws exist. that took some doing, but the laws are on the books. we then asked a parallel question, which had to do with a practice, how well the laws are implemented. that is more of a journalistic -- i would add that if you look at the project site, you will find if you click through the scorecardeach state's , you will find each specific
question listed. an explanation of how he answered it, why we entered it, a list of who we talked to to come up with the answers, and specific citations of the relevant state law policy or executive order. host: that report can be found at the website p >> the united nations security council plans to me today on a counterterrorism resolution. to meeting was pushed back 5:30 p.m., about 50 minutes will from now. we will have a live when it gets underway. wall street journal reporting on the council today. the united nations security council trying to establish a sense of unity in the wake of the paris attacks and other terrorist attacks. two will consider
resolutions for countering terrorism, one from russia and one from france. the goals of the resolution are very different. the resolution from russia defines terrorist groups in syria in broad terms while still targeting the islamic state extremist group. there is a picture of the syrian president. the french text is still being drafted and will focus more tightly on the islamic state. wavehief suspect behind a of terror attacks in paris, egypt, beirut and baghdad which claimed hundreds of civilian lives. that is from the wall street journal today. the un security council set to meet at 5:30 p.m. and it will be live on c-span. while we wait for the meeting to get started, from tuesday, david cameron addressing the house of commons on the paris attacks. we will show you as much as we can until the security council meeting gets underway.
mr>> the prime minister. mr. cameron: i would like to statement on the terrorist attack in paris and the g-20 in turkey this weekend. they gave the people chilling statistics yesterday and we know among the victims was a 36-year-old briton, nick alexander. i know thoughts after our horror and anger must come our determination to rid this world of his evil. many me to you the steps we are taking. the more of we learn about what happened, the more justified the full spectrum approach we have discussed in this house. they are dealing with radicalized european muslims anded to isis in syria
inspired by a poisonous narrative of extremism. you need an approach that covers the full range -- military power , counterterrorism expertise and defeating the point this narrative that is the root cause of this evil. let me take each intern. clear thathould be it should provide a strong severity response, continuing to degrade and destroy isil. and working with her allies to strike against those that pose a direct threat to the safety of british people around the world. coalition forces have damaged over 13,500 targets. we have helped local tour gets -- forces regained 30% of territory in iraq. we have pushed isil towards raqqa. on friday, curtis forces took back sinjar. the u.k. is training local forces, striking targets.
last thursday, the united states carried out an airstrike targeting the isil executioner noon -- known as jihadi john. this was months of painstaking work in which americans and britons worked to stop this vicious murder. mr. speaker, it is importantnoo. that the whole house understands the reality of the situation we are in. there is no government in syria we can work with, particularly not in that part of syria. no rigorous police investigations or independent courts upholding justice. we have no military on the ground to detain those preparing plots against our people. in this situation, we do not protect the british people by sitting back and wishing things are different.
we have to act to keep our people safe and that is what this government will always do. counterterrorism here in the u.k., over the past year alone our police services have foiled no fewer than seven terrorist plots. the people in our security services work incredibly hard and they are a credit to our nation and we should pay tribute to them. we must do more to help them in their vital work. in next week's strategic and defense review, we will make an additional investment. this will include 1,900 additional security and intelligence staff and more money to increase our network of counterterrorism experts in the middle east, in north africa, south asian subsahar and south africa. at the g-20, we agreed to better steps to better protect ourselves by sharing intelligence and stopping them from traveling. we agreed for the first time to work together to strengthen global aviation security. we need robust and consistent standards of aviation security at every airport in the world and the u.k. would double its
spending in this area. third, to defeat this terrorist threat we must understand and understand its root causes. that means confronting the poisonous ideology. as i have argued before, going after violent and nonviolent extremists. those that sow the poison but stop short, they are part of the problem. we will improve integration by shutting down institutions and encourage reform to speak up and challenge the extremists. mr. speaker, enough cannot be said that the extremist ideology is not true islam. but it doesn't work to deny any connection between the religion of islam and the extremists not least because the extremists themselves self-identify as muslims.
there is no point in denying that. what we need to do is take apart their arguments and demonstrate how wrong they are and we need the continued help of muslim communities and scholars. they are playing a powerful role and i commend them for their essential work. we cannot stand neutral in this battle of ideas. we have to back those who share our values, practical help, funding, campaigns, protection and political representation. this is a fundamental part of how we can defeat this terrorism both at home and abroad. mr. speaker, turning to the g-20 summit and there are were important discussions on syria and threats such as climate change. on syria, we discussed how we do more to help all those in need and how to find a political solution to the conflict. britain as has been said is providing 1.1 billion pounds.
that makes us the second largest donor in the world. last week we committed 275 million pounds to be spent in turkey, a country that is hosting over 2 million refugees and will raise significant new funding by co-hosting a donors' conference with germany, norway, kuwait and united nations. none of this is a substitute. to find a political solution that brings peace to syria and enables refugees to return home. i held talks with president putin. we reviewed the progress made by our foreign ministers to deliver a transition in syria. there are still big gaps between us but there is progress. i also met with president obama and european leaders at the g-20 and we agreed on important steps forward including aircraft along side other aircraft if that is
the decision of the north atlantic council. these would be in a role to support turkey at this difficult time. we agreed to the importance of stepping up our joint effort to deal with isil in iraq, syria and wherever it manifests itself. this raises important questions for our country. we must ask ourselves if we are doing all we can be doing and should be doing to deal with the threat of isil and the threat it poses to us directly, not just through the measures we are taking at home but dealing with isil on the ground in the territory it controls. we are taking part in air strikes. we have struck 350 targets and significant action has been taken in the recent hours. but isil isn't just present in iraq but operates in syria, a border that is meaningless to it. as far as isil is concerned, this is all one space and it is in syria and iraq and that some of the main threats are planned
and/or contest traited. the head of the snake. over syria, while supporting our allies with intelligence, with surveillance, but i believe as i said many times before, we should be doing more. we face a direct and growing threat to our country and we need to deal with it not just in iraq but in syria, too. i have said there is a strong case for doing so. our allies are asking us to do this and the case for doing so has only grown stronger after the paris attacks. we cannot expect and should not expect others to carry the
burdens and risks for protecting our country. i recognize there are concerns in this house, what difference would action by the u.k. really make. could it make the situation worse? how above all, how would a decision by britain to join strikes fit into a comprehensive strategy for dealing with isil and diplomatic strategy to bring the war to an end. i understand these concerns and i believe these concerns can be answered. many of them were expressed in the recent report on the foreign affairs select committee. we need to act against isil in syria. there is a compelling case for doing so. it is for the government to make this case to the house and country. first important step to do so. i will respond personally to the report of the foreign affairs select committee and set out a comprehensive strategy with dealing with isil, our vision for peaceful middle east and this strategy should include taking the action in syria i have spoken about. and i hope in setting out the arguments in this way, i can
help build support right across this house for the action that i believe is necessary to take. that is what i'm going to be putting in place over the coming days and i hope colleagues across the house would agree with that so we can have a strong vote in this house of commons and do the right thing for our country. now finally, the g-20 addressed other longer term threats to global security. we will gather in paris to agree on a global climate change deal. this time, it will include the u.s.a. and china. here at the summit, i urge leaders to keep the image to less than 2 degrees. every country needs to put program for reducing carbon emissions and we need to do more to provide the financing that is needed to help poorer countries from around the world switch to greener forms of energy and adapt to effects of climate change and we should wipe out the corruption that chokes off development and deal with anty microbial resistance.
corrupt governments undermining our efforts on global policy by preventing people to get the revenues and services that are rightfully theirs. the resistance issue millions of people will die unnecessarily. these are vital issues that the united kingdom is taking a real lead. here in the u.k., the threat level is already severe, which means an attack is highly likely and will remain so. we encourage the public to remain vigilant. i will do all we can to work with our police and intelligence agencies. it is to divide us and destroy our way of life. now more than ever we must come together and stand united
carrying on with the way of life that we know and love. england will play france. this match is going ahead. our people stand together and as they have done so many times throughout history when faced with evil. and once again together, we will prevail. and i commend this statement to the house. >> i thank the prime minister for his statement which he sent me a statement earlier. in the face of such tragic events and horror and anxiety and sorrow that caused the british public to stand up in solidarity, it is why we take an approach of solidarity.
the prime minister talked about achieving consensus and achieve a common objective in trying to defeat isil. we are ready to work with him and the government. and can i thank him for arranging the national security adviser to advise. the opposition other parties will continue to be brifed by on developments as they emerge. on behalf of these statements, i express my condolences with the people of paris in the wake of unjustified attacks and the people. that solidarity shows terrorism and conflict whether paris, beirut or syria. absolutely nothing can justify the deliberate targeting of civilians by anyone anywhere ever. these attacks were an attempt to divide muslims, christians, jews, hindus, people of all
faiths. as they tried in london several years ago, they will fail. i wish to praise the efforts of emergency workers who sprang tore action in these difficult situations. it is easy to forget the extraordinary heroism in going to work not knowing what will happen. not easy to drive an ambulance not knowing what you are going to find when you arrive at the scene. i said that we stand united with france in expressing our condemnation of those involved in planning, and carrying out these atrocities. the shocking events in paris were a reminder to all fert -- ever present threat.
we have a duty to keep our people safe. yesterday, my member from lee praised the support. while we welcome the sensible measures to make more funding available to gather intelligence and expose and prevent plots, these will be balanced with the need to protect our civil liberties which were so hard won in this country. they are part of what distinguishes us from other regimes around the world. my honorable friend from lee said yesterday there should be protection in the forth coming spending review of the policing services that are playing a vital role on the ground and ensuring our communities are safe. can the prime minister now confirm that he is willing to work with us to prevent cuts to our police force and make sure they are able to continue with
the protective work they have to do? does he agree with the metro police commissioner lord blair that it would be disastrous to ask police officers as they bring inviteal intelligence to help prevent attacks. another member of parliament, i fully understand and appreciate the great work that community policing teams do. we have seen in the past after atrocities like this there can be a back lash against muslim communities. far right racism have no place in our society, our thinking and i hope there will be no increase in that intolerance as a result of what happened in paris. will the prime minister set out in more detail the steps his government is taking to work with representative organizations of all of our faith communities to achieve that we strengthen community
cohesion at these very difficult times? we must ensure that those entering our country, whether they are refugees are appropriately screened. the home office will provide the border staff necessary to do this. it's also important in these circumstances that we maintain our humanitarian duty towards refugees. the syrian refugees are fleing and it is our duty to protect them and our obligation under
the 1951 geneva convention. i hope the prime minister will confirm our obligation to maintain support for that convention and the rights of that convention will be undiminished. it is vital at a time not to be drawn into responses which feed a cycle of violence and hatred. president obama has said that isis grew out of our invasion of iraq and one of its unintended consequences. will the prime minister consider this as one of the very careful responses that president obama has made recently on this matter. that makes it essential any military response that will be considered and the support of the community and the legality from the you united nations. can i welcome the prime minister's comments at the g-20 yesterday when he said i think
people want to know there is a whole plan for the future of syria and the future of our region and a few bombs and missiles won't transform the situation. can i welcome his commitment to respond to the foreign affairs committee report and carefully present to the house and to the country. will he confirm before bringing any motion to the house he will provide full answers to the seven questions raised by the select committee report? would he also say more about the particular contribution that britain has made to the vienna talks on the future of syria? they provide possibly some carbous optimism that could be a political future in syria that involves a ceasefire and the ability of people to return home.
would he also say and this is the final point i want to make on this, what more can be done to cut off supplies of weapons and external markets to isil? weapons are being supplied to some of the most repressive regimes in the region. what is being done to ensure that they do not end up in even worst hands including hands of isil and the extremist jihadist groups in syria? what can be done to bring to account those governments or organizations or banks that have funded these extremists or turned a blind eye to them? we need to know that the national trail which isil gets its funding and sells its oil. they are very important indeed and i welcome his commitment concerning the problems of epidemics and the problems created by the lack of resistance from anti-bikes.
he mentioned the climate change talks which are very important indeed. created by the lack resistance for antibiotics. would he also consider that cuts are made to renewable energy run directly counter to everything he said and everything his government said they want to achieve at the climate change talks. we have to combat climate change here, internationally and grite britain. >> i thank the gentleman for his remarks and the tone he is taking. a briefing on national security issues that is something that is available to all.
and if it's not offered, please do ask. the national security to help and particularly important in these times of heightened alert and right to phrase the emergency services in france and they have done an amazing job. and the secretary did this yesterday, ever since the mumbai attacks and the intelligence we had about the firearm attacks, a lot of work has been done in britain to make sure we would be ready for any such attack. i thank him for his support for the security services. he right to mention the civil liberties and fighting to defend that. on policing, we have protected budgets in the last parliament and do it through this parliament, which i think is vital and see the uplift we are giving to our intelligence and security services and do what is necessary to keep our country safe.
he is right to condemn anti-semitism. all of those issues are addressed in our counterextremism paper and we should be working with local communities as he suggests and we do to make sure they lead in these debates. some of the things that have been said by muslim clerics and muslim leaders have made a huge difference in recent weeks. he asked about borders. we have the opportunity to carry out screening and checks in our borders because we didn't share the border system and we're not going to do do that and importance of having those border controls. in terms of the syrian migrant program, we are taking 20,000 syrian refugees from the camps rather than those who already arrived in europe.
there are two levels of screening to make sure that we are getting people who are again inly fleeing persecution and would not pose a risk to our country. you asked about the again he cyst of isil, and what i would say one of the branches of this extremism is what we have seen in our world for most, there is boko haram, al qaeda and the first manifestations of this violent extremism, not least the twin towers attack, that happened before the invasion before iraq. and we don't try to seek excuses for what is -- they have been killing british citizens for many years. he rightly asked about the process in vienna and we were a key part of that where the foreign secretary has been talk binge that and secretary kerry commended me. he mentioned about additional
bombs and missiles only going to be so far in syria. i think britain can do more and because of our expertise and he rightly asked about the process in vienna and we were a key part of that where the foreign secretary has been talk targeting can cut the number of civilian casualties when the action is taken. it would make a difference but i believe yes, along side that, we also need a process that delivers a government in syria that represent all of the syrian people. you can't defeat isil by a campaign from the air. you need to have a government in iraq and government in syria that can be your partner in delivering good government and obliterating the death toll that threatens us and them. that's the point i'm making. he asked about cutting the supply of weapons and we are a key part that is working on
that. a large of the money comes from oil that it sells not least to the syrian regime. another thing they failed to address if we are taking part of the action in syria. i met the new canadian prime minister and coming to london very shortly to see the queen and i will have a meeting with him and we will work together. in terms of the economic slowdown, he is right the forecasts for global growth are lower than what they are. britain and america stand out in the advanced world of having more rapid economic growth and we ask others to take the steps to deliver that growth. and finally he asked about renewables and climate change. i would say to the house that the summit on climate change was disappointing. there is quite a lot of
opposition from some countries to put in place the things that are needed for a good deal in paris. britain can say we played an important role and in terms of renewable energy and look at what has happened. nothing short of a revolution in britain. >> the continued reach and activity of isis represents a monumental international security challenge. the aim was degrade and con them. can i think my right honorable friend about the need to cut off the financial supply and deal with the narrative over values and what he has said today about joining our allies in taking
action over syria and iraq. and no military campaign of this nature has ever been won from the air alone. can i say to him we may require an international coalition on the ground top remove saddam from kuwait and rule nothing out and give no comfort to isis. they hate us not because of what we do but because of who we are. >> i thank him for his support and we can do and what would make the difference rather than what we can't do. it's my contention in the end, the best partner we can have for defeating isil in iraq is having a reformed government in syria that could credibly represent the syrian people. >> my thanks to the prime minister for his statement and we welcome a commitment by all parties in the house.
can i associate with the shock and sadness with the people of france and all families and friends who were killed. will the prime minister confirm that intelligence information is being shared with our allies in france? the u.k. we are indebted to all of those in our police and security services that work to keep us safe. we welcome the commitment to provide necessary funding and personnel to do this type of work. given the scale of the disaster in syria we welcome the talks at the g-20. for the first time there appears to be momentum building to have a ceasefire and combat the terrorism. can the prime minister update the house on the next steps towards a potential ceasefire and political transition in syria?
in recent weeks and months there have been large-scale bombing operations in syria and bombing by the united states of america and bombing by russia and bombing by france and many other countries and bombs dropped by drones, bombs dropped by fast jets and naval vessels. president obama has reiterated his opposition to providing boots on the ground. given these facts is the long-term solution to syria is the end of the civil war and supporting kurds? today we have seen the arrival of refugees from syria in glasgow. does the prime minister agree that the welcome we agree to these reef few geese is the true mark of decency and compassion, in short the complete opposite which was visited on paris by terrorists last friday? >> i thank the gentleman for his remarks and questions. on the issue of briefings, he is a member of the intelligence and committee if he feels he isn't giving enough briefings, ask my team.
it is a complex piece of work and vital that some of the opposition groups are involved in this dialogue. we want a future syria where they are all represented and that means that the russians should stop bombing the free syrian army and should be part of the syrian future. how much can be done from the air. we need an end to the civil war. we need to support the kurds and some of that support can be delivered from the air. they need our help to bring this conflict to an end and his remarks and commend glasgow taking in refuse. and i know they will be looked after. >> his acknowledgement that the defeat of isil requires a transition out of the syrian civil war. and the progress is beginning to clear the path towards an international plan that would enable that military defeat of
isil. will he continue to put our full plementic effort into making that plan sufficiently clear, politically, militarily and legally and seek an endorsement of the role of our armed forces that will lead to the defeat of isil in syria and iraq sooner rather than later. >> i thank my right honorable friend for his support what he is saying. yes, i can confirm our full plementic effort is bringing everyone together. sitting around the table in arabia, all the key players, russia, all the key players are there. in terms of the legal basis for any action that we might take, i believe we can answer that question comprehensively as we have on other issues and i'm happy to put that in front of the house as part of my response to the foreign affairs of that
committee. >> isil wants to exploit the refugee crisis and poison europe's attitudes that we have seen on the streets of paris. britain is supporting proper registration in greece. i'm concerned that that is not happening. will he look again urgently of what more britain and europe can do to support proper registration not just in greece but internal borders throughout europe so we can make sure that we provide security and humanitarian aid so britain and europe can have security and solidarity to your refugees. >> she is absolutely right as the external border of europe, greece has played a vital role and the registration of migrants
is vital that that takes place properly. my understanding, when it comes to european asylum support, we have given more than any other country in europe. we are putting the resources. greece is not our external border. the external border is at calais. and we are doing what we can. but she's right, making sure people are properly documented is going to be a vital part of our security. >> sir william cash. >> the carnage paris shows the danger of allowing declared jihaddists from returning to their country of origin. will my friend review legislation to prevent declared u.k. jihaddists from returning to the united kingdom whatever the fundamental human rights say.