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tv   Washington Ideas Forum Senator Mark Warner  CSPAN  January 1, 2016 9:51pm-10:34pm EST

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is when individuals in those communities recognize the signs and bring it to the attention of law enforcement. it been soas difficult for the united states to counter the isis narratives? rasmussen: if i can answer that one 32nd sound bite it would be a lot further along than we are. different aspects of that isil narratives appeal to different parts of the target population. some are clearly drawn by the idea that isil is creating on in ground and islamic state fulfillment of a historical prophecy goes back centuries. and now is the time for individuals to join. others are attracted by the , sunniry of narrative
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versus shia conflict. others are drawn by the opportunity to engage in the civil war in syria. the ideae attracted to of the adventure that comes with joining the military struggle with the chance to cut your teeth on the ground in an active war zone. there is no one piece of that narratives that is the single most prominent draw for isil's target population. our strategies have to be aimed at each and every one of those different motivating aspects. one thing that will give us the greatest leg up. success on the ground inside of iraq. the effort to retake ramadi is so important.
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over time if iraqi security forces are able to expand the degree of control that will help chip away at the narratives that isil has right now that the caliphate is a prosperous enterprise. damien: with their control of most all of what iraq and syria they seem to have deep roots in these areas. it gives them a place to kind of the iraqi army was able to take back ramadi but we have these big areas where they can broadcast their signals.
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rasmussen: any time a terrorist organization enjoys territorial haven that presents complications for us. it makes it harder to get out specific terrorist operational cells may be plotting and planning. it makes it difficult to collect the intelligence we need to disrupt their plotting. that is what we play such a priority on shrinking the size of that safe haven. there areoned positive signs to point to. ledger isside of the going to take time. when you heard intelligence groups talk about the effort to there is degrade isis no single step that is going to result in an immediate turnaround. identify the vulnerabilities and
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eric: how serious is this is a global threat as opposed to these branches that have just been branded as isis and trying to take advantage of the group's notoriety? rasmussen: you have the iso-narrative being attractive to different extremist organizations. in certain areas i would argue that it doesn't act cumulatively that the threat that we face. it may be a bit of a rebranding.
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hand, there are some areas where issa was operating right now which give us particular concern. i would highlight libya as a particular concern. the iso-branch in libya is one that has taken advantage of deteriorating security forces in , putting given itself itself in the position to coordinate iso-efforts across north africa. one thing we have seen as libya anddescended into civil war political chaos is that it is very difficult for us to engage in the kind of counterterrorism operations that we want to do in dealing with the threat like in libya.l that is the one gives me the most concern.
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damien: there was this debate in america about the scope of nsa surveillance. act changed the usa freedom to change how the nsa collects this information. supported by both parties in congress. after the san bernardino attack there has been some pushback that maybe we shouldn't of gone that far. we have made the country less safe. can you offer your views on whether you feel like you guys will need more flexibility? rasmussen: there's no question that the new law provided the kind of framework that we find so necessary for disrupting and responding to the terrorist activity. i would lean on what the director said.
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it is too soon to tell in some cases. we would not have supported the measure without confidence that we can make it work and collect the kind of intelligence that we need. at the same time, if over time that iover otherwise, think there is an obligation on us to say so as well. at this early stage there's nothing that makes me question this framework. have said that this is a time when you see more different kind of threats, a more diffuse threat environment. at the paris and san bernardino attacks. what is the intelligence , what have they learned from these attacks?
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and san bernardino the husband probably radicalized well before the rise of isil. what have you learned? rasmussen: we have to literally be on our toes in locations all around the world and here home. we can't predict which direction the next threat will emerge. as much as the conversations turned in recent months to isis related plotting around the still spent a great deal of time focused on al qaeda , groups affiliated with al qaeda that we call more traditional terrorism threats.
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i look at this and being additive. we are not in a position to shed or subtract from the list. we have had a fair amount of success. core al qaeda operations. degrading their ability to carry out complex attacks. we should all take great satisfaction from that. there is no question that al it feels arely as ,ense of competition with isil they are continuing to look for opportunities to carry out attacks against the west. is we can't really predict from what direction the
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threats we see next might come from. eric: do you think you can rely europe and they were plots right under the nose of the officials in belgium and france? are they doing enough? rasmussen: our european partners are clearly confronting something in their societies that is on a scale far different from what we have to deal with in the united states. they have to make their own judgments about whether they have the right array of legal resources, money, all the things you need to carry out effective counterterrorism operations. if there is any positive news,
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our level of cooperation and engagement has really increased fairly dramatically. the sharing of information about travelers. that information sharing is much more advanced than it was 18 months ago. harris has brought to the forefront a set of questions about whether the europeans as a are postured well enough to deal with the kinds of threats that they face. this is not something that is going to go away in some six or 12 month. of time. would expect to see our european partners engage in some introspection about how to deal with this. twitter announced a more
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assertive monitoring policy this week. orthat something you welcome just take away your ability to monitor some activity? whatever help we can enjoy from private sector is on its face a good thing. the challenge is monitoring social media, it is an immense challenge. what is troubling is that so much of the information that we is no showing up in social media rather than the traditional disciplines of
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signals intelligence. in some ways that makes it much , the volume of thatinformation is so vast we are struggling to find ways to make sense of all that. it simply is impossible for an to be monitoring the social media utterances of everybody who has an extreme ideology. at the attacks, we also see signs that someone was radicalized. that is something we're going to have to build on. what level of worry we can expect from our intelligence
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community. paris: you mentioned that will have to do a self-evaluation. if something similar going on in the united states after san bernardino? were signals missed? were there things you guys could've done better? versus the new normal? be attacks inst the workplace that killed 14 or 20 people. rasmussen: it is a fair question. every instance in which there has been a significant terrorism incident affecting u.s. interests overseas or at home
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each agency goes through its self-evaluation. what we've done better? bombing,n marathon certain overseas events. looking at ourselves in saying what could we have done differently? what might've been apparent to us if we did looking in the right places? that doesn't mean that you are necessarily finding a smoking gun that facility made a mistake. or was government screwup. we are trying to do our jobs better and holding ourselves to the highest standard of accountability. san bernardino is an ongoing law enforcement investigation so there is a limit to how much i can say about that. indicateen nothing to that there was some dramatic bit of missed opportunity on the
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part of law enforcement or intelligence to get ahead of what happened and san bernardino. the kind of activity that we typically see from homegrown violent extremists is activity that won't necessarily be visible to law enforcement. our best opportunity to get ahead of that sometimes will come from relying on the community and individuals who have daily firsthand contact with potential extremists. to recognize clues of abnormal behavior or identify changes in the way they are engaging with their peers at work or in the social setting. those kind of community , we need help in
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dealing with this challenge particularly here home. i'm not sure if we're going to be handed on a silver platter the kind of intelligence that will tell us some is trying to plan this kind of attack. we have seen terrorism rising to the list of the public's top concerns. we saw it in the tv debate. people have expressed a lot more fears of terrorism now. are these fears misplaced? rasmussen: i don't think i'm in a position to say that the public sphere is misplaced. it is important to keep the threat environment in some sort of perspective. one of the things we can point to is the degree of success we've had in minimizing core al
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qaeda. the most lethal terrorist adversary for most of the last 15 years. attemptsisrupted their or their ability to carry out catastrophic mass casualty attacks. the kinds ofime smaller scale but nonetheless quite lethal and quite frightening attacks that isil is they definitely contribute to a sense of fear and insecurity among the public at large. i certainly understand that. if you look across the spectrum and terrorist threats, these episodes are still remarkably infrequent. the number and frequency with which they've taken place still relatively small. i would argue that is much as we , thisncerned about isil is not a nexus central threat in
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traditional national security terms. in some ways it is the kind of different from al qaeda. the san bernardino perpetrator was inspired by material that predated the rise of the islamic state. it could've happened even in the absence of isil narrative being part of the discussion. these are persistent threats over time.emained but we are resilient and we have the ability to fight back. to recover from these kinds of attacks.
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i would never minimize the sense of fear and insecurity that people feel. damien: i went with secretary after san a mosque bernardino. president bush did something similar after 9/11. what happened to not represent muslim americans. seemed to gently nudge them each do a better job of communicating with the u.s. government and figuring out what is happening in their communities. is that something we have been good at, engaging with the muslim community? rasmussen: it a constant work in progress. secretary johnson should be commended for the work of trying to do this. role, i often work with fbi and homeland security people
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to engage muslim communities across the country. it is a different conversation in every community. in new york city may not work as well in los angeles or chicago or dallas or miami or detroit. free to those communities there needs to be a dialogue with federal law enforcement and the local community in the form of religious leaders and community leaders to try to figure out how to best keep an eye out an eye out for the signs of extremism. we are not perfect of this yet. we can certainly scale of these efforts considerably. i am proud of the work we are doing in this area.
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>> i want thank you for being with us on newsmakers. watching newsmakers. our guest was nicholas rasmussen of the national counterterrorism center. schmidt, i wanted you to explain in this pantheon of agencies that is responsible for keeping the country safe. eric: the national counterterrorism center is a kind of a clearing house for all the information that is coming in about potential threats. in andormation will come its analysts are really charged with trying to analyze this information across the various agencies of government. to assess the different kinds of threats that are coming in and
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helping to produce the products for the president and his intelligence briefing. damien: i imagine fans on the urgent it would go directly to the president. nationaltor of intelligence deals with the whole range of issues whereas the national counterterrorism center focuses specifically on terrorism. usthe director described to a world of more diffuse threats. what is the level of cooperation between agencies at this point? eric: you get out to the to field the cooperation is quite good. you can have the military closely working with the cia operatives who are working closely with the fbi. and their counterparts from
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other governments as well. but when you get back here to washington you see some turf battles breaking out. over money and those kind of things. that one operation is better than it was around the time 9/11 but is these to be improved. we also need cooperation with foreign intelligence. in syria you have a whole bunch of countries that are claiming to try to fight the islamic state. maybe the russians have some intelligence that we don't have. maybe the french have it. there has to be more international cooperation at the same time there is this sense that you know want the government to get too carried away in terms of invading privacy. >> what is the temperament in congress these days on
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responding to a request for more resources? damien: i think there is more sympathy from congress given what happened in paris and san bernardino. more tanksing about in places like birmingham alabama or more satellites to sweep up intelligence? they are trying to figure out how best to deploy those resources. because we are in a campaign season, there will be a lot of having a bigger military and whether the nsa or the cia should have more power. that will drive the congressional debate as well. lawmakers may take their cues from what is polling well. of what 2016sense looks like on this front.
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eric: we need to be closely watching iraq. will they be able to build on the momentum they have now to push the islamic state out of iraq? cities like falluja. on the syrian side you have the u.s. assisting syrian opposition fighters. if you could shrink that , isil derives much of its income from the territory, that would hurt their ability drawing foreign fighters from around the world. >> thank you very much. weon c-span's cities tour will explore the history and literary life of oakland california. we'll visit marcus books.
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richardson: the history of marcus books is that it was started in 1960 by my parents. offer this was to resource to the community. , givingblack people them a place to go where they can learn about themselves. it was a service they were provided to the community. >> on american history tv take a trip to oakland's chinatown neighborhood and to learn about
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the history of the chinese in of the east bay. wong: in april 1906 a huge earthquake destroyed the records at san francisco city hall. birth and death records. here was an opportunity for say our birth to are no longer existing. maybe we can come up with some ideas to tell the government that we were born in san francisco. that began the entire paper sons scheme that allowed chinese to andthat they were born here
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that they had children in china that they would like to sponsor those children to come over. came after chinese the earthquake including my father. watch our tour to oakland. >> on the next washington journal, michael rubin from the american enterprise institute. ehrenreich author of nickel and dime.
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her story on the rising death rates for white middle-aged americans. now a series of interviews from the washington ideas forum. ♪ ♪
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>> up next lot a bunch director of the smithsonian museum on african-american history. margaret carlson: i took off the
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scarf so you would notice. i am back. with the pleasure of being here bunch.nnie the director of the newest museum in washington. congratulations on the architecture. , ithave a lot of people wasn't easy getting to this point. there were a lot of people who didn't want the museum on them all. they said it could never be done. you were brought here from chicago where you were perfectly happy in 2005. tell me about your happiness here. bunch: at 8:00 in the morning i have the best job in america. at 2:00 the afternoon it is the dumbest thing i ever did in my life. they're very few african-americans who get to run major museums.
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but coming back here and building a museum that has been 100 years in the making, i knew i had to come back. margaret carlson: that is a way to put it. it done was almost as hard as the 9/11 museum. a lot of politics involved. bunch: we came up with a vision that said this is not just for african-americans. this is a way for all americans to better understand who they are and understand their national identity. the notion of making it inclusive to get corporate support, to get congress involved. there was somebody steps along the way where i had to go up on the hill and make sure people understood. we are now will year away from opening this museum. [applause] carlson: i had a quick
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education about the museum. you are going to have famous african-americans. some people come in to see jackie robinson. and rock 'n roll with chuck berry. they will see some really sad things. like the holocaust museum a sad place. there will be sadness. bunch: you may cry as you ponder the pain of slavery. show the joylso that comes from within this community. we expect people to say this is not a place of sadness it is a place of possibility and resilience that speaks to the better angels of america. carlson: at the
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holocaust museum it was hitler, it was germany. this is americans doing bad things to other americans which makes a higher hurdle for some visitors. the notion of americans is bad guys is difficult. and say i look at it have confidence in american's ability to look at themselves and see their country as a work in progress and recognize that there is been horrible moments but there have also been moments where people crossed racial lines and crossed boundaries and worked to make america live up to its stated ideals. carlson: you found the only slave ship that carried slaves and you brought it to the museum. bunch: as i started to
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think about what this museum should be i realized it even if i made it a enormously technologically sophisticated museum. what is it that people haven't seen? a slave ship. i thought of the relatively easy to find a slave ship. we had to create a project with scholars to map the ocean floor and we thought we had a slave .hip near cuba the reality was that we found one through scholars that left mozambique in 1794 and was on with 412o brazil people and sank off the coast of cape town. as a result of research and diving we found it.
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we realized that i didn't want to bring up an entire ship because it is in pieces. i wanted to have a few relics that would allow people to not think of the slave trade as something where 15 or 21 people were involved. i want toething humanize. here were 400 people touched by this. my goal was to humanize history and make it accessible. carlson: you are having hard time finding authors and a lot of artifacts from different periods of time. how did you find her treasure? bunch: the biggest challenge was not raising money. i was more worried about the fact that we didn't have artifacts.
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unlike any other national museum, this one didn't have a collection, it didn't have staff , he didn't have a benefactor. we went around the country with the assumption that almost all of the 20th century and most of the 19th century is still in basements and trunks and attics. we stole the idea from antiques roadshow. i got a call from a collector in philadelphia. he said i have material of harriet tubman. we had gone out and people and heard about us looking for things in newspapers. he knew me over the years. you don't have anything on harriet tubman. he said what you come to philadelphia and see. thought at least i will get a philadelphia cheesesteak out of the deal. i went up there and he took me into this room and he started pulling out things like pictures
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of her funeral. shawlled out a sort of that harriet tubman was wrapped in three days before she died. there is a famous picture of it. given to harriet tubman by queen victoria. toldand there in front of the s was her personal journal. i will giver said this to the smithsonian because the public needs to see that. that has been a joy of this process. >> he gave it to you while he was still -- lonnie: i wouldn't let it go anywhere. >> you are very persuasive. lonnie: i'm from new jersey. [laughter] >> he was just a kid from philadelphia. he did not know what hit him.
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congratulations on that. we have a picture of another exhibit. ira? i don't think anybody outside of the historian like you has heard of ira. lonnie: part of what we want to do is introduce the public to stories and find stories that are really important. this is somebody who was born a free black man in new york city in 1807 and fell in love with theater and wanted to become an actor and loved the notion of a shakespearean actor. he could not get any opportunities in united states, so he left at age 20 to go to england and he began to work as an actor. he was so good that he became the first african-american to play a fellow in the mixed-race production -- play old fellow -- a mixed-racein production.
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he never got back to america. he always wanted to come and no one would bring him back, but he felt he was still an american. all the money he raised, a lot of it he gave to abolitionist organizations to help his enslaved brethren. just before he was going to come back to america, unfortunately, he died in 1867,' we have this playbill that announces his performance as "othello" in a theater in the u.k. margaret: do you have an obama exhibit at the museum? lonnie: well, we have -- of course we do. [laughter] margaret: i guess it was a dumb question. i think what we realized is that the election of obama was a historic moment. we got it was crucially important to tell the story of the election. what we actually did -- we went and collected an entire
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campaign headquarters of obama that he had in northern virginia. goal was not necessarily to simply celebrate president obama, but to talk about what this means as we entered into the early 21st century. that's what we're trying to do. the goal of this museum is, on the one hand, this would be the first green museum on them all. that's great. i'm -- on the mall. that's great. i'm proud of that. the goal of the museum is to help people realize that history is as much about today and tomorrow as it is about yesterday and that, ultimately, the job of the national museum of the smithsonian is to make america better. -- aret: many you don't get the up-to-date. ?hat surprised you what are you including that you would not have thought of before? what are you most proud of? lonnie: i really think that i'm

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