tv Attorney General Loretta Lynch on the Legacy of Martin Luther King CSPAN January 17, 2016 2:09am-2:51am EST
the prb's that have come out, 18 have been conducted, 15 have been cleared. it shows that these people are not too dangerous to release. and yet, people in congress don't even know that. people in congress don't even know that people in guantanamo have been cleared. it is shocking to me. they talk and debate based on the misinformation that the people in guantanamo are trained, horrible killers. it's just a shame. i don't know whether the news media, or the rest of us who need to get the story out and look at the facts, it is not so. that is one thing that bothers me terribly. another thing andy spoke about the court of appeals in the district of columbia. when we started this, we didn't count just all the legal remedy to get people out of guantanamo. but we did count on a legal remedy, the right of habeas corpus, as a fundamental precept
of the united states, and the foundation for individual liberty. all it really says, enforcing the magna carta, is that a person deprived of liberty to go -- liberty -- to go before a court where you would have a fair hearing to see whether there was a basis in law for depriving this person of his liberty. since the military, when it take to the people from guantanamo, there a few were cut on the battlefield, most were turned in for a bounty. they never conducted any hearings at the time. every arab picked up and sold for bounties in afghanistan and pakistan at the time was simply shipped off to guantanamo, never had a hearing. all we as for with -- all we asked four was a simple urine sample before they went to court. is there really a basis for holding this guy? is he a shepherd or some bad guy? we won that right in russell in 2004.
congress then revoked that right. again then in 2008 we want a , constitutional right to habeas corpus. then the d.c. circuit, this might seem terribly technical, but it's important. the d.c. circuit, which had been dominated by very conservative judges, eviscerated that right. they had a series of physicians. -- decisions. first of all, these people may have a constitutional right to habeas corpus, but because they are foreigners outside the u.s. they have no due process right. so any habeas hearing doesn't need to comport with due process. then they say, these hearings don't even need to meet a standard that someone who has been convicted. -- follows in challenging their conviction. here are people that never had a trial who have an even lower standard. then the court went through any evidence presented by the government in an interrogation report was presumed to be
correct. it cannot be challenged. as a result, the court took away a legal remedy for these people. that happened in 2010. for the past 5 years, to get out, they've been dependent on a political process from the obama administration. maybe it will work, maybe it won't. the worst thing is that the obama administration's justice department took advantage of absurd legal decisions. they challenged every grant of habeas corpus. they opposed every grant of habeas corpus. if the court ordered these people released, congress could not restricted. -- restrict it. and yet for some reason, the obama administration, just as they did in the defense department, they took advantage of the absurd legal opinions to prevent the grant of habeas corpus. i hope we can change that.
let me say to other things -- two other things. you know, guantanamo is a test of what this nation stands for. unfortunately it seems to me, looking back through history, it -- our nation of great principles seems terribly willing to sacrifice those principles whenever there is a threat. people yell about security and sacrifice principles like individual freedom and habeas corpus. court review to see whether there is a basis for a detention . someday, i hope that we realize adhering to our principles might be difficult in these times of crisis, but it is most important. i would like to get that message across.
there was something moving to me about the bridge of spies, if you saw it. here was a guy defending somebody who is a clear soviet agent, but -- and lawyer in the privileged conversations with him. someone from the cia said, what is the guy telling you? and he said, do you want me to violate the attorney-client privilege? he said, don't be a goody-goody. he said the nations security is , at stake. he says, what is your name? he says, hoffman. he says you are german of , background. he said, i am irish. he said you know what makes us , american? sticking to the rules. sticking to the rules like abs corpus -- habeas corpus. but not depriving people of their liberty based on suspicion. that is what makes us american. it is tested at times like this. i hope we have the guts to know
that standing up for those is what makes us stronger. i also hope that this will be obama's legacy. we should let him know that he will be judged more by what he does on this by history perhaps than anything else. thanks. >> the military commissions have prosecuted how many people? andy eight. : karen: four of them have been vacated or overturned. >> 800 roughly prisoners at the beginning. andy 4 successful prosecutions. : almost done by plea deals. they didn't go through a trial. plea deals in the american system-- karen: that is still being contested.
so, don't know. andy so a very small percentage. :>> how have -- how long has khalid sheikh mohammed been in custody? andy nearly 13 years. :host: when do you anticipate he would actually get inside a courtroom? karen: a couple years. andy the problems with the : military commission process, are they always going to be present in the system? tom: my way of envisioning the military commission, if you imagine it was a type of kick. andy: it was put together and it was more full of holes than anything else. anytime they hold a pretrial hearing in what looks like an established legal setting, it's full of holes. it fails to proceed. it starts, and everything looks
real, all the people are there, then they hit a snag. it is full of snags. the fundamental problem with it is that one side is trying to hide all evidence of torture, and the other side saying, we cannot proceed with anything that looks like a fair process without talking about the fact that these men were tortured. >> and those making department -- making those arguments are military officers themselves. i was confused by one thing you said. you think that guantanamo will be closed by the end of the year, but the military commissions will migrate into federal trials? karen: right now they cannot bring anybody here pending , congress changing its mind. >> congress is said -- has said, there is no money to do it. karen: congress can't do it. that is going to have to change one way or another.
what i was trying to say was that what was always thought as the real problem in guantanamo are those that are too dangerous to release. that list, if you cannot get a -- get rid of that list, you cannot close guantanamo. if that list dwindles, we still have the military commissions. >> walk me through. if obama wants to close it, which presumably he does, would executive action be enough? tom the former councilman had an : op-ed in the washington post has thee thinks obama executive power to override congress' restrictions and be -- bring people here. the ability to place people captured in combat is a .residential authority
>> what about the supreme court -- is that legitimate? tom: i think it is a good argument. probably could win before the supreme court. there is tremendous political implications. if obama and acts executive authority, what will a trump presidency be able to do? do you really want to stand up to congress and actions like this how far do you go? , >> absent that, is there any other way out of this? tom: i think the way out of it would be, and has been for a while -- john mccain wants to close guantanamo. if you could cut a deal with john mccain. if mccain can bring along some republicans to do it then you , could try to do it.
part of the problem with that is that there are two. personality problems, mccain hates obama because he thinks he is a weakling. and mccain has lost his party within the republican party. people see him as a moderate. i don't think he can deliver enough republicans. karen: he keeps asking for a plan. "show me your plan." i can understand why there is no plan. there seems to be a plan in action of some sort. he has left the door open. >> paul ryan has been trying to get through the use of military force. --ldn't embed it in there, the present authorization for the use of military force is what keeps these people at guantanamo, right? karen: in theory. >> what is it?
tom: you could also look at the right under international law. karen: as long as -- >> for a clarification, you are saying people in guantanamo be held with the use of military force, but something other? tom: presidential authority in times of crisis -- to do that. >> his article 2 authority? tom: this is a very technical area, but yes, i think that argument could be made. karen: you can also make the argument that if it ended, that would be a premise for saying , okay, we don't have the authority anymore. whether it would win the day or whether some kind of executive decree would come in is another story. you could definitely -- and many
people have made that argument. the question is if you have a new authorization for the use of military force, you don't get to know that anyone will get rid of the old one. we don't know how it's going to be built. >> i'm having a hard time understanding why guantanamo is going to be closed. what scenario makes that even plausible. tom: i think the obama plan is to get as many people out of there is you can -- as you can. peopleleft with 50 or 60 . you then go to congress and say, how can you be ending 300 to houseollars a year 50 or 60 people, let's take them to the united states. it will save money and it's more efficient. they will be protected from the population. that is the plan. >> you've looked at every federal terrorism case since 9/11.
what is the conviction rate? karen: 91%. >> what were the 9%? karen: people not accused of serious crimes read -- crimes. >> the 10 accused in an attack, khalid sheikh mohammed-- karen: when it comes close to real terrorism, it is 100%. >> typically how long of the trials -- are the trials? karen: 18 months or something like that. the lawyers for those charged before military commissions very much wanted military commercial -- commissions, not trials. when the debate was going on, all of the lawyers said, we want to be in military commissions. that is what happened.
>>you want swift justice -- the obama administration has put no one in guantanamo, correct? karen: bush also did. >> there has been zero under obama. they have all gone into the district of your mark -- new york for the trial? karen: the eastern district of virginia in alexandria. some have gone to the d.c. court. but many of them have gone either to brooklyn or manhattan. >> and what has the outcome been? karen: they often get convicted. they are usually sentenced averaged around 18 years. many of them are put away for 25 years or more. many for life. >> the problem with military commissions in guantanamo is material support, which is a common indictment, is not a war crime. that is why some of these
prosecutions fail completely. they were vacated. karen: right, some were vacated. others who would have been charged expected that would be charged, cannot be charged. now, they raise the same issue -- another guantanamo detainee has been through the system for how many years? now it is on appeal for the question of conspiracy. >> he was an bin laden bodyguard? karen: we think. >> questions from the bbc. for you, andy. abu zubaydah, who i am sure you are familiar with. briefly, he was brought there a long time ago. replaced --s released a few years ago. what will happen with him? he's also at camp 7, where you can get you when you are a
journalist. what does his state have to say about the closing of guantanamo? karen: great question. andy i think abu zubaydah is one : people we are looking at when we shrink the population down and down. this is a man that cannot be returned, as far as i can see, to anywhere that he is from. with origins in palestine and saudi arabia. now some -- no saudi arabians , they cannot be safe to release this man who was never an al qaeda member. he is the great shame of the torture program. it was instigated for him. they said he was number three in al qaeda. the last i heard legally is that they were still proposing to try to prosecute him. they decided he was the leader of some kind of militia aligned to al qaeda. i don't think that was ever
plausible because it seems what he was doing was facilitating an escape from afghanistan for all kinds of people. that meant soldiers, but also civilians. i don't think there is any kind of case against him. he's in the category of people waiting periodic review boards. that suggests they have completely walked backwards. i don't know what they do with this man. apart from that, the state he is and after what happened to him he has seizures regularly. , it is a really terrible story. i think there are a handful of people hiding in the shadows in guantanamo that we don't know about. some of whom who are terribly abused and are in an awful state, which is why no one wants to go near the cases. all kinds of people where we look at too dangerous to release. we have a handful of people where there appears to be more of a case from the government
side, but they have these evidence problems. we have to get everybody else out. we need to be clearing out everybody that is an insignificant threat before we look at exactly what we are left with. i want that number to be small. you look at the media, we hear 50. that is too many. >> one of them released from guantanamo became a leader of the taliban. two others went to become leaders in yemen. how do you answer that? tom: the people released -- these were people released during the bush and ministration when there was no process. a lot of them are release for political reasons -- released for political reasons. i wish ite a process, was more quickly, that we review these cases.
>> some people don't understand the process. tom: the process was originally started in 2009 when the obama administration -- it was amazing. at the end of the bush administration we found that files on these people were scattered everywhere. there had been no the review of the people -- note the row oughew of the people -- thor review. the obama administration did take a review, it was an interagency review of all of they had to come to a unanimous decision about each individual. it was very tough because you have -- you always have people in the defense department saying, there is a risk. we don't want to do it. that is when they cleared a lot of the people, and created this other category of people too dangerous to release, which was a back category.
obama said at that time, even then, in 2010, there would be reviewed owing on, but they did not do any. it started again in 2013. what they do is they review through the interagency task force and say, are do they pose a risk, can they be released? the problem with that is that they have not put enough resources into it. there have only been 18 of these reviews. they should review them all. 85% of them would probably be cleared. let me say one thing about abu zubaydah. i am not allowed, like andy is, to even look at wikileaks information. i can lose my security clearance, unbelievably. but his lawyers have told me that they think a lot of the allegations against him were simply false. it was a whole created myth about his dangerousness. he is not such a person.
>> i'm from the muslim public affairs council. i am so impressed by the work that you are doing. it was cringing to hear all the details today. my question -- if guantánamo was set up to skirt the geneva convention and to skirt any kind of rights that prisoners of war would have, what would be close that down? in this local climate, we got isis. it seems very convenient for people of that mindset to say, i can do this. i will never be asked, and even if i am, i can put labels on it. no one will be concerned. if i'm on the other side, i
would say great, i can just keep doing this forever. >> i think that is because there are people who think that holding people without charge is helpful. i think it is very clear, every time president obama speaks about it he says, what we're doing in guantanamo is creating more enemies. i think that is true. there are forces present in the united states political team who are desperate to add new people to the population in guantanamo. the argument is that president obama has shown a willingness to bring people who are prosecuted abroad to court in the united states. none of it gives any reason, i do not think, that the geneva
conventions do not work. they were not only thrown a sign at guantanamo but they have been generally treated appallingly in the wars since 9/11. the other thing which i think is killing people is extra-judicially is the detention. i don't think there is a strong argument to be made anywhere on practical terms whatsoever for keeping guantanamo going so that you can add new people to it. i do think throughout obama's presidency, the only good thing i can say is that it always looked like a legacy to me, not as an ongoing thing with those policies that take place. >> yes, there are those theories, it was created to
avoid the law. if you are outside sovereign territory, you don't need to pay attention to u.s. law. many people think, that is terrific at a time when we're facing these terrorist threats. there are a lot of people in this country, like vigilante movies, who think the law is and it impediments. there is a debate. i am telling you, you go into the republican side of congress, they believe that. this is a police -- place we need, a place where we are not in fringed by these little rules. this is the perfect place. believe me, that is what a lot of people think and the fight is with the others, like us, the
left, who wants to say let me tell you, our strength comes from our principles and adherence to the law. greg's i have a two-fold question. one, how important is it that have that governors have said they will not accept people released from guantanamo in their states and although you mentioned it, i think it is more important, how much of wanting to keep people there is not wanting it to come to light how much torture has been used? is the president has very clearly said he does not want to move backwards he wants to move forward. >> the governor who do not want them in their backyard, not in
my backyard, it is just a political ruse, affect if in a campaign season. if there are any fact or attacks on prisons, including guantanamo why any terrorist organization, etc., it is understandable. when guantanamo was built, a military base held hundreds of women and children who were there as servicewomen and servicemen and children in school, etc.. they were given a choice, the prison was being built for the worst of the worst or they could go home. they chose to stay. this idea that it is scary to be in there, it is just a political tool. it comes down to money. it now costs $3 million a year to keep each detainee -- to keep
the detainees there. as we let detainees out, the cost per detainee goes up. at some point, when you get to the handful left over, it does not make any sense at all and i think that, to answer your question -- >> let me just say, lindbergh coming out against mohammed being tried in new york, killed it. it has political power. it is a shame. the torture question -- i think they will cover it up anyway. so -- >> all i was going to say was, you know, we have the executive summary of the torture reports a year ago and as i said a year ago, i am still very impressed that the system you have in the united states was able to do
that. because we have had pretty much zero detectability in the united kingdom in terms of a proper investigation in what has taken place since 9/11. but you know, when you read the executive summary, read the whole report, ok, there are deductions. what is in there that is so profoundly shocking? >> the report was really about cia, not just about guantanamo. >> i understand, but they are different. >> but no, i would like to see a similar test to what took place on guantanamo. it is not as if we do not know the terrible things that of happened. >> her question was about what would come to light about torture. you know, what might come out? i think the answer is, i agree, it's not so much we worry about
how much we know because it is about --, but the real underlying area, when you have tortured individuals who are on trial or whose witness in evidence is about people have been tortured, you actually cannot try them. it does not matter what kind of system you build it to make lipstick on this. all the machinations will not get around it. someone was tortured. they witness, the big government witness was excluded. the trial took place. and ok -- the only one town of detail know who is of a move to american soil, charged with the killings of over 200 people, including americans and two east africans and u.s. embassies, it was a short trial. it took a month. in, it played itself out, there
were difficulties, but the issue of torture did not come up in the trial it self and we are still here and he was back in colorado. >> in visiting bloomberg. what were they? >> he thought that it would cost a lot of money and jeopardize security in new york. it would make a place, you know, as they said at the time, where people can come, you know, attack new york. it was silly. he fell into a -- >> when you look at the fact that they have had trials, karen, it tell us. who has been tried in the subdistrict of new york? karen: a number of individuals who were extradited and charged. extradited after many years, tried in the last three years.
i will just go through who they were. the son-in-law of bin laden was tried. another individual who was -- you wanted to set up a -- a camp in front -- i need in oregon. and, a host of others. a couple who tried nodded manhattan and in connecticut for other crimes. there have been no norms. no moves to new york. extra security that judges can determine our ok, like not reading the new york times or something so the jurors will not see any headlines. not very exciting. [laughter] >> can i just say one thing? when you talking about the being
tried. that is 10% of the population at guantanamo. 90% of the people are there indefinitely in prison without charge or. that is an extraordinary thing in our system. try our others is clearly they should be in federal courts. it is better for everyone. >> that was one of the terrible decisions by the obama and administration to back down after having publicly announced they were going to proceed. i think what that tells us, you know, is they were confident that they had enough evidence that did not involve torture to secure or they would not have gone ahead with it. so, backing down on that has, you know, led to this position where the justices are delayed. >> hello. my name is adam. you may have covered some of this because i unfortunately
came in a little bit late, if you look at the -- up from the politicians and the environment we're in -- we have the people who are actually conducting this business down in guantanamo to include also, of course, the department of defense and mr. carter, the secretary. so you have judge paul, you have this highly trained military leader who is taking care of these prosecutions who used to get a lot of optimistic interviews years ago about a way forward, a land, so forth.
it seems to me that the -- forget about the politics that are undoubtedly related -- but deep perspective these trials occurring at guantanamo, i mean, they have not happened yet and it seems to me a question as to whether they will ever happen. and, the other thing is that i have not been down to guantanamo in a while, but, you know, you used to talk to the people in the prosecution and they had a plan in there was kind of a morale and they felt they were doing the right thing and if you agreed with him or did not, you could understand a kind of his speed to core animating the process on the prosecution side. at this point, it just goes on and on. i mean, what is going on with the department of the defense and the prosecution team and to what extent do they believe -- i mean, a lot of these are, you know, good, sincere people who
think they are doing the right thing whether we agree with it or not to eat these processes eroding and then we have this insubordination editorial in the -- i guess it was in the new york times -- it is going on with kind of, on a technical morale psychological legal level the people who are tasked with carrying this matter out at the present time, given the prospects? karen: i cannot answer that except to say that i do not inc. the optimism, at least in the front row of the commission has changed. someone sympathizing, -- but as their optimism based on? they believe -- general martin believes this process can work and no matter how many hurdles there are, he just believes that the.
and, for the record, all of these glitches taking place, whether it is the cia having access to the courtroom and nobody knowing it except the judge, the translators being in translators during the maturing interrogation process, or a number of other -- the fbi informant that was placed on the defense team -- for some reason, he thinks he can it defies the odds and make this happen. and he does not suit concerned about the timeframe and i think, and they are actually -- if there were actually a limited in his mind i wonder how optimistic he would be if he thought he would concluded before the obama presidency. >> the people who supported the commission and instead of federal court trials are not unduly bothered if it drags on and on and on because they
absolutely did not want these people tried in federal court for whatever their reasons are. the results is that it is helping to defend the notion of guantanamo is a place where people must be held indefinitely without judge or trial. in, that is another important reason to keep pushing against it. >> at them, can i say, one of the things that is interesting is sort of the commissions was lindsey graham. lindsey graham believes strongly in wrongly that you are in a war and that these are -- need to be debated like -- and like it was a war. and not criminals. if lindsey graham, who is a strong friend of john mccain, and john mccain defers to them on this, is to say, yes, this is
not working. people have talked to lindsey graham and said, yeah, you're really elevating these people by treating them as war criminals and not warriors, that would change the whole thing. but i'm not sure he will. >> thank you, jeff from the central times. i am wondering if you could talk about why the review boards being ended so slow. trying to get by the end of the, that would be this week. you take the administration would really hustle up on that. is it about resources? is there no reason why this process will not stick? >> they simply have not had the resources into it.
the obama administration simply has not managed it. 18 pr -- if they wanted to close the place, you should get the resources into do [rbwant to -- prb is. they sort of go on and do not take charge of it, you know. >> no one has really been overseeing it. he'll be as petitions have been challenged, and nobody is joining. some people see that as part of the conspiracy. i do not think it is, i just think it is that no one is overseeing the process.
>> thank you. chris with the red cross. it seems that some people are moved to the united states and have had a negative prb. anything that changes legal arguments? >> the whole premise and reason for guantanamo was to say, these foreigners outside of the united states have no can station on rights. the supreme court said they have the right to hate this. -- hey be us purpose. -- habeus corpus. under the constitution, it says there is no way to hold people without trial. the law says, a foreigner within the united states enjoys full constitutional rights and the right to due process. >> hello, i am lonely. i am a former fellow here.